How To Organise Your Content

26 October 2006

How To Organise Your Content

Your website menu is like a compass. Visitors refer to your main menu to decide where to go in your website. The rule of thumb in arranging your web content effectively is that everything must be arranged hierarchically and according to importance; descending vertically, or left to right.

How To Organise Your Content

Navigation Tools

As your website grows, you'll need to depend on other navigation tools in addition to your main menu. The three most useful are submenus, breadcrumbs and the site map.

Below is an example of a site using breadcrumbs and a submenu in conjunction with the main menu.

Instead of putting everything into the main menu, a submenu can be used to display quick links relevent to the page the user is currently viewing.

Breadcrumbs are links that show the path from the main menu to the current page and allow visitors to backtrack quickly to any of those pages.

Finally, a site map, which displays practically every link in the website on a single page, can be used as an index for very large sites.

Tips for organising your website

  • Don't use more than eight links in the main menu bar. Using more links will make your website will look cluttered.
  • Adopt 'single-click' policy for your most important pages. Less is more when it comes to number of clicks.
  • Limit your drop-down menus. The links on the main menu should have no more than two consecutive drop-down menus. People find it difficult to keep their mouse over a long series of menus.
  • Don't duplicate menu items. Your visitors will be confused if they see the same item in the menu twice in different locations.
  • Consider using breadcrumbs and/or a site map if you have a lot of content.
  • Interlink your content. This helps your visitors get better coverage of the site. Your hierarchical menus, submenus and breadcrumbs will make sure they don't get lost.


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