We have reviewed the specifics of the structure of the three most popular Visual Sitemap types. You can use the templates that were discussed in our article to design your own unique site structure right now.
In this article, we will research an averaged structure of a Sitemap. Before proceeding with the Sitemap analysis, it should be recalled that the relevant website structure implies a consolidation of the amount of information obtained as a result of conducting and processing the UX research and the semantic core clustering. Any proper Sitemap begins with a clear understanding of the website’s target audience.
You can read more about the website structure methodology in the following article:
How to Plan a Website Structure
However, some common features may be present in different Sitemaps and provide familiar patterns of user interaction.
Sitemap of an Online Store
Online stores have a complex, branched structure. The actual place of an online store in the market and its volume of sales will actually depend on good, thoroughly-developed navigation system.
Typical elements of an online store:
- Home (main) Page
- Product catalog
- Product card
- Shopping cart
- Order processing
- Text Page
An example of a hierarchical Sitemap of an online store can be found here:
Home (main) Page consists of the key information about the online store. Online store Sitemap should start from this page. The customer should receive general information about the specialization of an online store and intuitively comprehend how to navigate through it.
Product catalog is the implementation of a thoughtful cataloging of the online store, that provides intuitive user navigation. Sophisticated cataloging implies a detailed understanding of the target audience needs.
Product card is required to provide the most detailed information about the product. This page should include product photos, basic characteristics, the comparison module and the “Add to cart” button.
Shopping cart is the page which consists of products that the user has selected for purchase. There, the user should see a list of goods that he chose to buy and pricing.
Order processing The user enters this page after confirming the purchase on the **Shopping cart** page. Here, the user needs to fill in personal data, select a delivery method and complete the purchase.
Text Page is a kind of a ‘Product Blog’ in an online store. This page displays the current information about the product that is selected by the user.
Account is the page on which the users can enter their personal information and set a preferable payment method. Entering this information will speed up the order processing.
Contacts page raises the level of user confidence. Contact information provides an opportunity for the user to get advice or clarify some details that were not described on the Product card.
News Portal Sitemap
Considering the most obvious elements of the news portal structure, a number of specific features can be highlighted. One of these features is a huge array of information that comes through the news website every day.
Typical elements of a news portal Sitemap:
- Home Page
- News catalog
- News Pages
Home Page implies the display of the most relevant news for the user. Being on this page, the user should easily find the news on the topic that interests him.
News catalog A large news portal is updated with a huge amount of information every day. Given the huge number of topics, you must create a dictionary of tags, and catalog the topics in accordance with it. Thus, journalists will have the opportunity to organize news on specific topics, providing convenient navigation through the website. When forming a dictionary of tags for a news portal, you need to rely on the research of the target audience. Make sure that it is fresh and up to date.
News Pages exist for convenient reading of news. You may also want to display the links to similar news articles here.
Corporate Website Sitemap
Corporate website is often used for presentation purposes. The main objective of this site is to introduce the user to the company and its products.
See an example of a corporate website Sitemap by clicking the following link:
Typical elements of a corporate website Sitemap:
- Company’s news
Product/Service page shows all the information regarding the product or services offered by the company. The detailed information on such pages allows the user to get acquainted with the company and make a decision whether to interact with it or not.
Company’s news demonstrates the latest company news that may be of interest to both employees and customers of the company.
This page contains the history of the company, and there may be some photos of employees. it raises the level of user confidence and allows users to trust the company.
Corporate websites usually do not have extensive Sitemaps. As a rule, these sites are not meant to attract a lot of traffic. Corporate websites are needed for a convenient presentation of detailed information regarding a product or a service provided. The target audience of such sites, as a rule, are people already familiar with the company’s products or services, but they want to get more detailed information.
Different sites are made for different purposes and, as a result, have different structure. If you want to design a convenient website structure, you must first put yourself in user’s shoes.
This information allows you to design an intuitive interface that will certainly affect the User Experience in a good way, and as a result, the overall success of your project. To ensure clear navigation, you should also follow the basic rule of Sitemap developing – the ‘viewing depth’ should not exceed three or four clicks, depending on the amount of website content. In this article, we have provided examples of three popular types of Sitemaps. Naturally, these examples are not the only true ones, and may not be appropriate in your particular situation. However, you should accept niche-specific user interaction patterns when planning a Sitemap.