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organizing data


Please organize your data with these guidelines in mind. This way your pages will read exactly as you want and our production time will be minimized, meaning that your site will go online sooner. Send us your final versions of how you want your pages to read and be sure and run a grammar and spel chek.


Hierarchical Structure

Most sites follow a hierarchical structure of some sort, for instance:

Site Title (Like the title of a book, the most prevalent idea or theme of your site)

     Page Title (Like chapter titles, these are titles to your web pages)

          Main Heading (Sections within the chapters, within the web page)

               Sub Headings (Sections within the Main Heading structure)

                    Content (Your text and media)

Content can be inserted after any point in this structure, but this gives a rough idea of how content, your ideas and information, can be organized.


Organizing Your Site

Information Trees are highly helpful in conceptualizing the organization of your site:

At the uppermost level, we have the “Home Page” from which the sections of the site are described and made accessible. Using a hierarchical model, the site has structure in 5 main sections with the home page as the hub:

Home Page








          Shopping Cart

          Privacy Statement



     About Us

          Personnel Bios


Deeper levels of detail or specificity are further down the tree. Site construction is most often based on how we perceive information in a natural environment, as in this example:

     I see something down the road

          it’s red

               it’s a red truck

                    it’s a red truck in the center of the road

                         it’s a red Texaco truck in the center of the road

                              it’s got a silver grill

                                   I’m on a one lane bridge (one realizes where one is via the environment)

and just after the moment of impact, we may even note the hula girls behind the tires of the red Texaco truck with the silver grill in the middle of the road as it rolls over the top of our new Lime VW Bug atop a one lane bridge. Generalized ––> categorized ––> identified ––> detailed ––> kaboom, we understand what just hit us and we know where we are, at least for a brief moment.

There are several models of how we understand and navigate the world around us; take a moment on your drive home to really notice exactly how you get there and what the process is - by landmarks, by signs, by turning left at the green house on the corner. This process works well for virtual environments too, and the combination of structure, media and text help users to acquaint themselves with and successfully engage a site and accomplish their goals.


Yeah, So?

What helps us construct your site is you thinking about how your visitors will want to use your site. Ask yourself these questions:

What goals do my visitors have in coming to my site?
How can I make my site clear and easy for the user to accomplish his/her goals?

Now if you sell pet food and supplies, your site might look like this:

     Home Page (welcome statement, sale items)

               Products (our most popular line of pet food and grooming supplies)

               Products (more pet food)

               Products (more grooming supplies)

          Query (is your pet a dog or cat?)

               Products (for dogs)

               Products (for cats)

          Ordering (ordering and shipping info, retail outlet locations)

               Shopping Cart (to checkout)

               Privacy Statement (to allay ordering apprehensions)

          Help (to allow users to help themselves)

               Contact (to provide more specific information or help, list of who to contact)

          About Us (to put a face on your company)

               Personnel Bios (behind the scenes, of interest to customers and investors)

               Employment (prescreen applicants and provide applications)


Organize Your Site Data Into Pages

Consider what “chapters” you would like to split your site into - these can be individual pages. Descriptively and briefly title each page, these titles can be used to link your site together. Compose text.

Ed Davis
Virv WebWorks


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