This chapter introduces concepts having to do with organization of Web sites. The objectives important to this chapter are:
Several terms about the Web are frequently misused. Learn these:
Since a Web site can contain several pages, and since the whole purpose of the site is to communicate to a user, some principles that have to do with publishing on the Web should be considered by a Web site builder who wants to be successful.
There are three very good reasons for not putting all your information on one page. People get bored and overwhelmed when too much information is shown to them at once. Also, lengthy pages take longer to pass across the net (this is called downloading the page), so users are happier when they jump to pages that load quickly (smaller, less complicated ones). Finally, organizing your site into multiple pages allows you to check whether you have covered all your ideas, and not left out anything.
Methods of organization:
Whatever scheme you decide to use to build a Web site, you should take the time to make an outline of your ideas and them put them on a storyboard. A storyboard can be done very simply with index cards, each one representing a Web page. Lay the cards out on a table, an easel, a wall, anyplace, then shuffle them around to decide on the flow of your site. Make notes about what other pages each page should jump to. (Remember, of course, that the user should always have the ability to jump back to the last page viewed. If you don't build it in, the browsers already have it. That's what the "back" button is for.)
Storyboarding and outlining may also be done with pencil and paper, a whiteboard, or software. The important thing is being organized, not the tool used to do it.