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Content organization should be:
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The simplest structures involve dividing the content into a few different sections. Small sections may end up as a single page of the site; larger sections may end up as multiple pages. Few school sites, in spite of what you may think, will actually be all that simple, but if a start is being made with a very small site then make sure the sections chosen are adaptable to future growth. The best way to do this is to ignore the fact that the site is simple now and plan a structure for a much more complex site.
The Organization of the site can be approached in two main ways:
1. Content Based Organization
Content-based Organization simply means dividing your content into sections based on some properties of the content itself. A good content-based structure can result in a very logical and obvious Organization of some sorts of information, but it can be difficult to achieve with types of content that are less easily categorized.
2. User based Organization
In this type of site the content is organized according to who will use it. In the case of a school site this might mean having different sections of the site for pupils, teachers and parents, or it could mean dividing one section on the basis of the end user - for example the Pupils Work section could be divided according to the class year on the basis that pupils of that year, and their parents, would find this easy.
In practice there can be considerable overlap between the two. In the case of the school site example by defining our users, as we did above, it will be relatively easy to divide the content into several main sections, each of which will be primarily aimed at one main user group, and then use a content based structure to further organise the content.
Organization in Practice
To take a look at how organization works in practice we will have a closer look at two parts of our school site and at how we might approach organizing them.
1. School Information Section
In the School Information section of the site, you might want to divide the section, based on content, into several subsections, some of which may even need to be further subdivided. For example:
This is a hierarchical structure and is a means used to organize content on many sites and probably the most useful one for information sites.
It may seem a simple way to organize but there are a few things to consider.
Planning at a early stage how you will approach these sort of issues, and others that might arise as the site matures, will result in a much more easily managed site later.
2. Pupils' Work Section
Taking another section of this site, the pupils' work section, and it becomes less clear what structure is needed. The work here is likely to be on a very varied set of topics that do not lend themselves to hierarchical organization. You have a range of choices to make in deciding how to organize this type of content. You could organize by class year, by date or by subject and each will have advantages and drawbacks.
When considering these problems be mindful of how you will create links within the site and of how your decision will affect the structure of the site.
There is no 'correct' answer but how you decide to proceed will have implications for the way your navigation is built and the way your site is designed so it is important to make a decision on organization early in the project.
Clear planning of a site structure is a difficult job but time spent on it will make the site clear to your users, make it easy for you to decide where content belongs and will also prepare your site to cope with additional content in the future.top