Web Site Structures 1

Essay by mysteriouz November 2008

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When setting up links to navigate websites, it is advisable to map out exactly how you want the pages to relate, using a common technique known as storyboarding. A storyboard is a diagram of a Web site's structure, showing all the pages in the site and indicating how they are linked together. Because Web sites use a variety of structures, it is important to storyboard your Web site before you start creating your pages in order to determine which structure works best for the type of information the site contains. A well-designed structure can ensure that users will able to navigate the site without getting lost or without missing important information.

The Web sites we navigate everyday use different Web structures. Three types of Web structures are linear, hierarchical, and mixed. Linear structures are used when each page is linked with the pages that follow and precede it in an ordered chain.

The user can move backward if they want to view the previous page. Linear structures work best for Web pages with a clearly defined order. However, they can be difficult to work with as the chain of pages increases in length. You can modify this structure to make it easier for users to return immediately to an opening page, rather than backtrack through several pages to get to their destination. Augmented linear structure is when each page contains an additional link back to an opening page, this way the user does not have to navigate back through each page that has been visited. Linear structures are the simplest arrangement of all three structures, although it is likely to turn out to be the least effective way of organizing information in the long run if the website grows beyond the smallest of sizes.

In hierarchical structures the pages are...