How to make the organization of your web site simple and intuitive PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 July 2010 15:32
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Design architecture is not just a technical proposition

Apparently design architecture comes in the picture the moment you plan to build your web site, and it constitutes a crucial technical consideration. Design architecture is chiefly concerned with the use of state-of-the-art web technologies and latest enabling tools to provide a robust skeleton to your web site. Here the most important thing to appreciate is that technology or the technical process is all meant for user convenience and needs.

Sometimes it happens that even if the web site exhibits a lot of features and appreciably well design architecture, it fails to woo users. The reasons? Actually the situation turns out to be something like where users do not, in fact, need all the features it employs: what they need on the web site, they simply do not find probably because the owner or builder of the web site did not take into active consideration the precise needs and wants of the users – the target audience. This kind of scenario might be a dreaded plight for the business the web site was brought into existence for.

So, what can be inferred from this sort of mess? Well, it is always advisable to see the big picture no matter what you undertake to accomplish. Right here the web development process. Before you headstart with your website development initiative, an ideation process must precede it.

The ideation process must revolve to find out the answers of a few vital questions. Bear in mind that these are the stuff which can act as shining star to show you direction while you go ahead with the process. Here are they to make you think unless you get the definite answers:

Why at all do you need a web site?
What purpose is it expected to serve?
Whom is it going to serve? i.e. Who happens to be your target audience?
What can your target audience can expect to get out of it?
What do you expect from your web site?

Let your design architecture respond to these answers accordingly
Once you scratched your head and pulled out the right answers, believe me, you have got the direction. Now, proceed along the path accordingly. Reconsider the intricacies of design architecture with these answers on your mind to make sure that your web site employs the features what your users will love to find. Therefore, it is apt to correlate the technical possibilities with the non technical i.e. behavioral and business imperatives so that your hard labor is rewarded with worthwhile results.

Keep the backend self-explanatory for easy maintenance

Building a web site is not one time engagement. Web site should keep pace with the business it supports. There is hardly any need to mention here that if business does not grow with time, there is something seriously wrong with it. Professionally managed business grows with time, so does the web site. Therefore, web site needs to be updated regularly to reflect the progressive phase of your business, or to cater to evolving needs of the consumers.

Backend as the name suggests is something which is behind the scenes, giving your web site a solid foundation to stand. From the backend, your web site is nothing but an accumulation of varying files and folders that goes into the making of it. With the growth of your web site, the number of files and folders goes on increasing.

It can truly be a frightening experience when you have to steer clear your way amidst tons of files and folders to update your web site if you have not organized them intuitively right from the outset. This is virtually impossible for anyone to remember what is contained in what folder if some sort of rationale or correlation does not forms the equations.

The best way, arguably, is to keep the name of the files and folders self-explanatory and to organize in a way that sounds convincing. For small web sites, it is a better idea to keep all HTML files in one folder, and images in another. As the web site grows, you can make folders and subfolders in logical manner to enhance findability.

However, this simplistic solution does hold true for big and complex web sites. In such case, you can develop your own logic which you can recall easily the moment you try your hands on updating. Like, if you frequently add content on your site, you can organize your files and folders by date. Or, if you are into the business of many products, you can put in place product wise organization. Other possibilities could be region wise, feature wise, segment wise organization only if they apply to your business. Best of all, put a little hard work to develop an intuitive site map and organize the stuff in strict conformity. It will act as a point of reference -- if and when the need arises.


Typing full names, at times, appears to be painstaking. That’s the reason it is not difficult to see files and folders on the web sites strangely spelled as if they are written in altogether different language. People use shortcuts; it gives a tough time to others when they strive to decipher them and strains the server too while go on reading.

This practice should stop as it might prove bothersome to you and detrimental to your business as well. Please remember that avoidance of this practice is advantageous – for you, your web site, and more importantly, for your end users.

This is precisely because names of your files and folders get reflected in the URLs. Therefore, your URLs can become no less than a museum in themselves. Tough to understand, tougher to remember, and very easy to drive the traffic away. This is so because some users are in the habit of navigating on the site, after landing on it from somewhere, by deleting some portion of the URL in the browser bar. Personalized, hardly understandable style of naming of files and folders could be damn annoying for them.

So, what could be understandable style of naming of files and folders? Here is the light.

• Follow the site map in naming exercise.

• Use lower cases. Avoid the use of space and characters like |, &, *, %, etc.

• Prefer not to use more than one extension while naming.

• Period is only to be used before extension.

• Use underscore (_) to separate two word blocs in URL in order to make it correlated with the site map and sound convincing.

Use absolute and relative link to your advantage
Keep in mind that the exclusive benefits of the above kinds of links when it comes to use the linking plan on your web site sensibly – and in your better interest.

Absolute link is something which is used whilst linking your web page to some another page belonging to altogether different web site. Absolute link owning to their property to link to other web site is detailed one, and cannot be mentioned in short.

Like for example, if you wish to link your web page, let’s say, to Portfolio section of our site i.e. www.blueappleonline.com you should provided with the URL as it appears on the browser bar pertaining to that section, viz. http://www.blueappleonline.com/portfolio/. When done so in this manner, it will instruct the browser to quit its current location and travel all the way to come at http://www.blueappleonline.com/portfolio/.


On the contrary, relative links are used to link one web page to another web page but within the same web site. The links provided are not with complete URL. Instead, they are indicative of relative position of the target page to the current one on the same server.

The point worth to be noted is that complete URLs can be given to accomplish intra site mobility, but it will make browser find its way from the root or beginng to the specified link. All this process consumes time, and might not be even noticeable for one or two such URLs, but plenty of them can subject users to most despised wait, and make browser work harder which can be avoided for better speed.

Here are some examples of relative links. Suppose, for example, you want to link our Design Gallery at http://www.blueappleonline.com/portfolio/Design-Gallery-1.asp to Business Solutions at http://www.blueappleonline.com/portfolio/business-solutions.asp which is in the same directory i.e. Portfolio, you can avoid writing the complete URL just by providing the link: will direct the browser to come to Partner with Us section in Edgevantage@INDIA directory regardless of wherever you happen to be at our corporate web site.

Let’s consider some other example of relative link. If you want to link to some other page which is altogether in different directory, you can use a useful command viz ../

Here is how to use it:

I wish your web site to be structurally simple with these useful guidelines.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 November 2010 09:46 )
 

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