Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

If a picture worth 10,000 words …

If the old adage that picture is worth 1,000 words is true, then so too perhaps it is true that a web sitemap is worth 10,000 words. At least that is the premise identified and explained by Jason Withrow in his 2004-but-still-relevant post entitled ‘Site Diagrams: Mapping an Information Space.’

So much good is already said in this article, it’s hard to add anything that can’t be better stated by some selective quotations … the trick is to think “my congregation” every time the author cites “my audience:

“To successfully communicate the characteristics of an information space, I needed an approach for creating easily understood diagrams. To be useful to my audience, the diagrams must communicate the ‘big picture’ of the website to stakeholders, while providing enough detail to be useful for the development team.”

Interestingly enough, I both agree and disagree with this article. Meaning, the author argues that by providing a visual representation of the Web 1.0 file/folder model, we provide quick information to users in a Web 2.0 era of search-engine driven navigation.

Thing is, so many of our Church users rock like it is 1995 that I can’t argue with Mr. Withrow when he writes:

“Understanding the structure of an information space for a website boils down to the following questions:

  • What is the information structure?
  • How do I visually represent that structure?
  • What relationships exist among the web pages?
  • How are those page relationships represented?”

Yeah, kinda hard to argue the above, especially as Google Lab has given us a SiteMap Protocol accompanied with a SiteMap Generator, etc …

Yeah, kinda hard to argue with that sorta success! Only question left is, where to put the rendering (psst: this is your cue to comment)?

One Comment

  1. Working on a redesign of my company’s site, the designer (Boyink) suggested putting a textual site-map at the bottom of the destination pages in the site. I guess the logic is that if this isn’t what they are looking for (or now they want different information), they can find other options quickly.

    In essence, it facilitates non-linear navigation.