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Information Architecture

  1. The structural design of shared information environments.
  2. The art and science of organising and labelling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support findability and usability. » More

Please note that the models outlined below are mutually exclusive.

Model 1: All-in-one

An expandable hierarchy all in one menu

Collapsed view:

Expanded view:

Advantage

looks a bit like a directory tree

Disadvantage

could get too long if you have a lot of pages

Model 2: Strict hierarchy

The menu along the top is the main menu, and the left-hand navigation changes as you click on the main menu items. Each left-hand menu contains only links to items in the same folder of the site (e.g. the research menu contains only links to pages in the research folder). Items do not appear in more than one left-hand menu.



Advantage

looks a bit like a menu bar with drop-down lists

Disadvantage

a lot of people see the left-hand menu first and assume that is the primary navigation

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