Schedule Time & Gather Materials
- Time Needed: Minutes to Hours
Dependent upon content quantity and complexity
- Design software, especially software specially created for flow chart creation
Carry Out This Method
- Complete a Controlled Vocabulary and a Content Audit so you have an inventory of what exactly you are mapping.
- Use flow chart software like Lucidchart, Microsoft Visio, Omnigraffle, or Gliffy to build a boxes-and-arrows diagram of the highest level of site organization. Include the home page and top level sections in this first page of your diagram.
- Subsequent diagram pages should describe more specific flows, including deep dives for content and interactive processes like checkouts.
- Meet with stakeholders to decide whether to re-integrate or eliminate any orphan pages — that is, pages in the Content Audit with no currently active links to them.
- Complete a Task Analysis for common user flows to see if pages are organized logically.
Try These Tips
- If you are presented with a site map diagram for an existing product, verify that it is up to date.
- In the absence of flow chart software, use software that lets you to draw and move shapes with ease (like Adobe Illustrator).
Explore More Resources
- Nielsen Norman Group: Site Map Usability, 1st study
- Usability First: Site Map Diagram
- Smashing Magazine: Efficiently Simplifying Navigation, Part 1: Information Architecture