Defining your site structure
Your site structure is a representation of your information architecture. It determines the overall navigation experience in your digital workplace. Getting it wrong generally leads to poor employee adoption and engagement. When a digital workplace is structured correctly, it guides your users between areas of your digital workplace quickly and efficiently.
Our Configuration Specialists leverage two methods for capturing and defining your site structure - site mapping and wireframes. These techniques help your stakeholders visualize the site structure and allow them to provide feedback at an early stage – before any designs or structural work begins.
Site maps are quick, inexpensive ways to visually represent how different pages, solutions, and content will be grouped, what order they’ll appear in, and how they’ll relate to one another. They are essentially high-level diagrams of the overall solution structure – but not necessarily of the navigation structure. Site maps can’t be finalized until after page layouts are defined, which leads us to the next technique.
Wireframes are annotated visual illustrations of page and solution layouts. They communicate solution-level navigation, content types, and functional elements. The annotations are for designers, so they can mock up a visual interface, and for developers, who need to understand the page features and how they’re supposed to work. Paper-based wireframes can be a good starting point, but digital versions are often better for collaboration. Once a wireframe starts to have interactive elements – such as clickable navigation – it crosses the line into a prototype, which allows you to test the main areas of your digital workplace before implementation begins.
Mapping your content
Once you have created a site structure, it's time to map your content. Our Configuration Specialists work with you to inventory and categorize your digital workplace content. During this mapping exercise, our experts will help you define:
- Specific content themes
- Different content types
- An information taxonomy (e.g. naming conventions, tag groups)
- Owners of content
- A keep vs. archive list of content
- New content types
- Content locations
Networked Enterprise Tip: Determine what content will live in your central hub versus individual spoke sites
One of the most important things to consider before mapping out the structure of your networked enterprise is content—global (hub) content and spoke-specific content. You’ll need to think strategically about where your content lives and map out the content needs of your hub and spoke audiences to ensure you build a structure that makes sense for all audience groups.
We recommend considering the following:
- Do spoke users need private areas to work or publish content?
- Will users in one spoke need access to content within another spoke?
- Is there common, shareable, less confidential content that could live in the central hub so all users, no matter which spoke they belong to, can access it?
Now that you have created a site structure and content map, it's time for our Configuration Specialists to build your site. The Igloo platform provides five key tools which our Configuration Specialists use to build your digital workplace site structure, including: