Further to a sit down with Rich on Friday 16/04, here are some structural suggestions for the BW website. I am aware that this was discussed a while back, and have tried to take on some of those issues; this is intended as a minimal friction re-vamp rather than a mighty site build from the bottom up… and nothing is set in stone obviously.
It aims to sit within Hamish’s mission picture (http://forums.bristolwireless.net/viewtopic.php?t=31) while practically meeting the possible requirements of all sorts of site visitors…
Sorry that other Ed could not make it, and hope you all like it enough to consider it as a practical braindump perhaps leading to a happy www rejig.
The point of it is to rationalise the site Information Architecture without disturbing the standing www pages (altho’ I don’t know about the second level nav), in order to make it clear to visitors what sort of stuff they will get where in the site… Here goes.
BristolWireless.net website suggestions 19/04/04
Maintain current accessibility standards as seen at bristolwireless.net
Structure website content clearly and relevantly for all visitors
Simplify the layout:
1. Remove ‘Gallery’ and other Right Hand side bits (integrated elsewhere)
2. Tidy up Left hand side, leaving navigation, search and links
Create a strong ‘call to action’ and sense of inclusion for visitors, and good links from BBS
Proposed user groups:
These are non-specific groups based on people’s potential interest in the site rather than their ethnicity, age etc. (ie this is not a heavyweight usability analysis. I gather that the BW site has reached a satisfactory medium of desirable usability and actual do-ability).
Establishing these will give a basic outline
of *who* may use the site, which we can then further break down into *how*. This is not suggesting a site designed around specific user types – that might lead to a heavy re-build (?).
1. Totally technical types looking for totally technical information and discussion
2. Keen punters and interested parties, (potential) volunteers for all angles of BW
3. Totally non-technical punters wondering what it is all about and what for
6. Easton Locals
Proposed content areas:
These are based on the information categories which BW offers online, and users’ likely activity requirements. This is not splitting the site into ‘who are you’ fragments at the top level, but placing the different information for different users within specific content categories. This is based on the theory that whoever they are, the visitors will have one of
the following information needs, which they will be looking for in clear categories.
The section headings might be links to those sections. The article titles might be links only. Can it be possible to create indented section menus when the visitors are in that section, or does it have to remain in the blogging structure? If it remains in the blogging structure, would it be good to have a set of anchor links at the top to lead the less-experienced
visitors to articles some way down the page? Obviously, the titles are suggestions rather than definitives!
1. ::Read up section::
History of BW, The CLAN
History of wireless networking and computer recycling
Overview of wireless applications
Heavyweight technical documentation
Training and give-away days
An lightweight article about what happens when you put up a node
etc… etc… etc..
2. ::News section:: (or this might be simply the home page, blog-style?)
Regularly updated RSS feed from BBS
3. ::Get involved section::
Join mailing list
Register your interest for training/give-aways
Sign up to IRC
Add BW RSS feed
Send an email to the list
Submit a link
4. ::Press Releases section::
5. ::Interactive Easton secton::
Links to local stuff
Submit a link
6. ::Links list::
This is to appear on every page below the content lists and navigation above
Other bits of navigation:
As well as navigating to the content and discussion stuff, visitors will also want some more
functional navigation as per normal website stuff. Could this fit in the banner?
1. ::Contact page::
Chelsea directions 😉
2. ::Site Map::
Erm, site map, really.
3. ::Sponsor list:: (As a footer to every page?)
IOP, Greater Bristol Foundation, PCT Health Service, Christian Haystack etc..
So there you have it. All constructive debate is encouraged and all that. I’m off to France now, so will look forward to catching up on this posting in a few days… In the meantime, I will leave it up to Rich and Sean to moderate 🙂