Redesigning information-rich sites part 2: Reorganize your content

  • By Kathy Wagner
  • |
  • Feb 19 2019
Categories: |Toolbox

Redesigning information-rich sites

This series helps you identify the most important steps you can take to make sure that you’re successful when redesigning an information-rich site—one that has hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of pages of content.

This is step 2. Here’s an overview of the series:

Step 1: Reduce your content
Step 2: Reorganize your content
Step 3: Restructure your content
Step 4: Rewrite your content

Step 2: Reorganize your content

People typically find content on large sites in one of two ways: by searching or navigating. Organizing content in a logical, predictable, and consistent way helps people when they navigate to find content.

It also communicates relationships between content and this helps people to know when they have found the information that’s relevant to their specific needs.

Here are three things to think about when reorganizing your content:

1. Organize the content around research-based user needs.

The ideal way to organize content is going to be different for different companies and audiences, which is why it’s important to do your research. But, in general, task and topic-based organizing structures work better than content organized around your internal departments and functions.

2. Create links and pathways that guide users through a logical progression, or flow, of content.

Make sure content is organized in such a way that people can find the content they’re looking for, understand it, act on it, and then follow up if necessary. Well organized content makes this as easy a possible.

3. Organize content logically on the page.

Provide descriptive, easy-to-scan sub-headings. Position the information that is most important to your audience highest up on the page, first in the paragraph, and first in each sentence. Don’t bury the important stuff. And don’t include the unimportant stuff.

Those are three things you can start thinking about today when reorganizing your content. Remember to always ground your content organizing schemas and designs in research. Your audience is who you’re designing it for, not you. Make sure your audience is part of the process.

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