WEB105 » Developing Site Structure 1

At this point in the process we should have a deposit check in hand and we should be ready to start working.

We must now think like our project site’s users and ask ourselves:

  • What are they coming to the site to do?
  • What are their needs?
  • How can the site’s structure be planned to satisfy their needs?

A) Content-View

Content-View is the sub-phase of Developing Site Structure where you gather existing and potential content for the site, analyze what is there, see what is missing and prepare it for delivery.

Addressing Content

Content is critical to any site. Without good relevant content everything else is merely a placeholder.

  • You should have dedicated copywriters and content managers
  • It is strongly suggested (by the book) that the copywriter work client-side

See Also: Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson

Auditing Existing Content

The existing content may be part of the problem with the old site. Therefore, we must analyze and evaluate of every piece of content that the Client may have.

  • A content audit not only removes unnecessary content, but helps minimize less important content and maximizes the message that fulfills branding and business goals
  • As the content is audited you may find that the content will naturally organize itself

Outlining Content

At this point, the content does not need to be completely written, but rather it needs to be organized via a content outline.

  • It is possible that the client, at this point, has created a bulleted list of content
  • This outline will then be used as your master content document

See Also: Content Structure | Premium Design Works

Creating a Content Delivery Plan

Late content is the number one reason for project delays… plan for it, charge for it.

  • Hire a content manager to manage, gather, write and submit content
  • Provide a realistic breakdown of content into deliverable pieces rather than have the content due all at once

B) Site-View

Site-View is the sub-phase of Developing Site Structure where you begin to organize the potential content of the site into a hierarchy of pages called a sitemap.


A sitemap shows a visual representation of the site’s structure, organization, flow and grouping of content and information:

fig. x p. 99

Web Redesign: Workflow that Works 2.0 – p. 99

A sitemap should:

  • clearly show all HTML pages within the site
  • show as much detail about the relationship between pages as possible
  • be kept as updated as possible as it may and probably will change

See Also: Information Architecture for the Web | Premium Design Works

This portion of the Premium Design Works website is written by Mike Sinkula for the Web Design & Development students at Seattle Central College and the Human Centered Design & Engineering students at the University of Washington.


  1. Julie says:

    Image of Mike’s whiteboard notes for this lecture:


  2. Kris Luminar says:

    The two links for a sitemap example on this page are broken.


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