[Web Comm] Website map ...

Jody Garnett jgarnett at refractions.net
Thu Oct 12 11:28:15 EDT 2006

Hi Jason thanks for the discussion, I am going to keep coming at this 
from left field for a couple of days as I would like to confirm that the 
track we are on is intentional.

Looks like we have a lot of wishes in common in terms of findability and 
so on ...  Somethings like individual projects and committees do not 
belong anywhere near top level navigation aids (projects as a list will 
not scale as you point out).

My concern is for a visitor to the website (let me try and take a hard 
line here for comment) - they are not interested in:
- our projects - they instead want to see the big picture and then 
product comparisons
- our committees - these are internals to how we run our organization - 
they only mean something to us the community
(This hard line *does* fail - the fact that we have regional groups is 
of interest to our international visitor story.)

So let me be clear - we have been creating a website/portal to serve our 
community. That is easy to do, we are after all the community. What the 
webcom group needs to be responsible for is the "visitor" community, 
this is not feedback we are going to get from our memebers ... it 
appears to fall within our scope.

In software you have the idea of a "customer champion", what we need 
here is a "visitor champion" and I would like the webcomm committee to 
play that role.

So I would like us to not to look at the graphic design right now, and 
instead focus on what content we are trying to organize and for whom, we 
will come back to the graphic design with a much more focused website 
that serves a different group of users.

> Hey, that's cool seeing it visually, and I think that there is real value in visualizing potential user paths to ensure that we cover off all potential navigation requirements.
> Findability is an important concept here.  If we make our content "findable" then we also have to structure the site to be as interlinked as possible.  We need to provide the ability to users to quickly get to the content that they might be interested in regardless of their landing page.  This means a consistent and multi-dimensional site structure.  
> I like what Tyler and Jo have done getting the projects and committees on the left, but I think that this needs to be a multi-level menu, and the urls should reflect it.  So project info sheets would be under projects/geotools/, committee pages would be under committees/webcommittee/, and foundation stuff would be under foundation/governance, etc.  I've attached a couple images of a Drupal site that I maintain (I think it may even be using the same template) showing how this would sort of look, though my breadcrumbs and URLs suck because I'm stuck on IIS and can't use mod_rewrite.
> We also need a breadcrumb area at the top of each page, so users can intuitively work their way up the directory structure from their current page rather than having to bounce up to the main page.  If you find yourself trimming parts of the URL to try to get up a level, we've done something wrong on the site design.
> If we provide enough intuitive paths, all users will be able to find what they want.  And for those obstinate few that prefer search to find (browse), Drupal nicely searches all content. :)
> I'm not sure how I feel about the member blogs (I often blog about non-OS stuff) incidentally.  I don't know if this is appropriate on the main page of the site or not...
> Jason
> ________________________________
> From: Jody Garnett [mailto:jgarnett at refractions.net]
> Sent: Wed 2006-10-11 9:00 PM
> To: dev at webcommittee.osgeo.org
> Subject: [Web Comm] Website map ...
> I am a bit concerned that this planning artifact I have asked for is not
> specific enough.
>>    * website map, optimize "workflow" for target users, pending
> Here is a sample to get conversation going, I have put together a
> website map based on the what I can reverse engineer of the drupal site
> prototype (http://community.osgeo.org/en).
> I tried to run through the site with a couple example users, and did not
> get very far - this only illustrates the technique.
> Cheers,
> Jody
> Note: the file is in Open Office (just because I know Jo will like it
> that way)
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