SITE STRUCTURE 7
Thesite adopts a hybrid metaphor approach in structuring the content.Basing the site structure on only one of the three noted by Webmonkey(2010) does not sufficiently address the goals of the site. The threeelements of the site that make it complex and render theappropriateness of any single metaphor insufficient include theusers, the content and the context. According to Dade-Robertson (2011p. 121), a single metaphor is often not enough to adequately explainthe structure of a site. Accordingly, this site is based on a hybridapproach that involves elements of the three common metaphors namelyorganizational, functional and visual metaphors. This approachprovides a robust view of the site and also enables a comprehensiverepresentation of the diverse aspects of the site.
Organizationalmetaphors build on the existing structure of the entity and providean important story regarding the company to diverse users. Thehistory and nature of the organization is represented by thismetaphor. Morville and Rosenfeld (2007) observed that organizationalmetaphors group and present information on an existing organizationalstructure. In this project, this metaphor covers the presentation ofthe organizations history and model. This section of the entity’sstructure is represented by the “About Us” element of the site’snavigation.
Functionalmetaphors have also been used to present information on the site byrelating it to real-world events. According to Dade-Robertson (2011),functional metaphors are used to connect online tasks to thoseperformed in the real world. Functional metaphors in the projectinclude the tasks related to ordering and contacting the entity.Ordering involves a group of tasks that are performed in the realworld and include placing of an order or cancelling it. A user canalso perform a task that relates to reaching out to the organizationfor information or some other assistance by contacting the entity.This tasks include sending a message or communicating through aninstant messaging system.
Finally,visual metaphors have also been used to represent certain aspects ofthe site. Visual metaphors employ common graphic elements thatidentifies with the popular culture of a user group and can be easilyrecognized by the latter (Morville & Rosenfeld, 2007). Thedominant icon that resembles the shopping cart found in retail storeis ideal for presenting the online shopping cart concept. Thequestion mark symbol also presents a scenario that indicates theavailability of assistance on an issue. The three types of metaphorshave been used complementarily to sufficiently address the differentparts of the site.
2.2Place an order
3.1Send a message
3.2Get contact details
4.2Architectural Blue prints
Figure 4.2: Architectural blueprint
4.3Global and Local navigation Systems
Thissection presents the global and local navigation systems. The globalnavigation systems has four major sections to avoid clutter andenable easy navigation. Additionally, the organization’s logo ispresented as part of the global navigation system. This elementprovides users with a familiar and quick way of returning them backto the site’s homepage (Morvilleand Rosenfeld, 2007).The logo also serves as a branding for the site that integrates thesite into the organization. The global navigation system is designedto appear on every page in order to provide users with ease of accessto the site’s content regardless of their location on the site.This navigation system is presented below.
Thelocal navigation system adds additional menus and links to variouspages or page sections in the site. These additional menus and pagesections are specific to a particular web page or section and doesnot appear on all pages within the site (Morville& Rosenfeld, 2007).This approach allows for a simple design with a site-wide navigationsystem on every page, and additional local navigation systems toenhance site accessibility. This navigation system also takes intoconsideration a number of other best practices to ensure a smoothuser experience that is in line with the overall goals of the site.This design ensures that the navigational items do not link to filesthat do not render html content such as media files, includingimages. According to Dade-Robertson(2011),such files can be troublesome and disorienting to users of the site,thus affecting the overall experience. Accordingly, links to filesthat do not render html content will be placed within the central webpage content.
Thelocal navigation system is presented below. Notably, the navigationalelements constituting this type of navigation are italicized for easyidentification.
Inaddition, the local navigation system will link to specific sectionswithin the page in cases where the page has more than one section.These pages include “About us”, “Ordering”, “Contact” and“Newsletter”.
Dade-Robertson,M. (2011). TheArchitecture of Information: Architecture, Interaction Design andPatterning of Digital Information. NewYork: Routledge.
Morville,P. & Rosenfeld, L. (2007) InformationArchitecture for the World Wide Web.New Jersey: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Webmonkey(2010). Information Architecture Tutorial – Lesson 4. Retrieved 16Dec, 2014 fromhttp://www.webmonkey.com/2010/02/Information_Architecture_Tutorial_-_Lesson_4#Set_It_in_Stone