The Faculty of Arts has established a standardized site structure based on unit and user feedback in order to help improve the user experience across all Arts sites.
The information architecture (IA) refers to the organization of a website. It describes the ways in which different pages of your site relate to one another and ensures content is organized in a consistent and predictable way on each page and website.
To improve the user experience across all Faculty of Arts sites, we have established a standardized information architecture for our Department and School sites. It is recommended to maintain this site structure when creating new pages.
Cognitive science tells us that most people can store between five to nine items in their short term memory (Miller’s Magic Number = 7). This means that your site should not exceed more than nine options at any level of the navigational hierarchy.
Ideally, the fewer levels people need to click through, the quicker and least confusing it should be for them to access what they want. To make your site more accessible, aim for your site to have three or four levels of hierarchy only. Consider creating subpage categories and consolidating your content.
To limit confusion for our site users, please ensure that your page names at the same level of the navigational hierarchy are mutually exclusive of one another.
For example, if a user is looking for program information, make sure to include all program information under one second-level section (Undergraduate > Psychology Programs), so they only have one path option to complete their desired task.
Top level pages
The top few levels of the information architecture hierarchy are the pages that most users will be interacting with first — arriving either through the main navigation or through external search.
These pages should be very compelling because they can draw on all the content that is under them in the hierarchy. Ensure that these pages give the user a detailed overview of what can be found in each subsection below the current page using modules and internal linking.