University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Greetings,

We are in redesign mode for several sites, including the University of Minnesota home site. We've determined this would be a good time reevaluate the standard web header and footer that we require for all UofM websites. The issue is how.

We've made decisions in the past about what links go in the header and footer based on what kinds of items are globally useful. Simple enough. But...we will also be launching a new and improved web portal next year and the push from management is toward the elimination or reduction of internal links on what is supposed to be our externally-focused site.

I need to figure out how to evaluate the links we currently offer in our header and footer and what links we might want to add for the next iteration.

How do you determine your header and footer links? For those of you using the larger footers, why did you make that choice? Are people using all those links?

Thanks for your insight!

Views: 222

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

For our global header nav, I've been tracking every click as an event in Google Analytics for several months. It's pretty clear now which links are popular and which are being ignored. I also use Crazy Egg to see clicks on the current homepage. That provides great leverage for removing links that might be politically sensitive. As for adding new links, we considered what was important for prospective students while keeping it as minimal as possible. We plan to go from a 100+ link megamenu to 6 simple tabs. Audience landing pages will act as junk drawers for internal needs (students, faculty, staff, etc).

Our footer has evolved over the years, from minimal to a fat footer, and back to minimal. Stuffing content down there like news and events never got any traction, but surprisingly the "jobs" link gets a ton of attention. We plan to keep it minimal.

Using Google Analytics, as Erik suggests, is the best way to discover which links are "in play." You could also do a focus group with prospective students, or you could try card sorting -- a venerable stand-by technique.

At Widener, our audience paths are in the header; public facing and partnership related links, with some exceptions, are in the footer. I think it's a good compromise on the "fat footer" concept. 

IMHO, larger footers (or so-called "fat footers") are not particularly useful because they offer a way for the project team to conveniently avoid making any decisions about what not to include, and therefore what the visitor gets is an overchoice of links. Let's call it "link shock." And of course, that's never good. The key is making the complex look simple. 

Sounds like you're starting from a good place by focusing on internal versus external links, though. 

Don't forget to factor mobile presentation into your evaluation criteria. That may influence your thinking about whether the link is in the header or the footer. In addition, you should also plan to improve your internal search results. In my experience, navigation and search are symbiotic. If it's not apparent in the navigation, they'll search for it.

You may find this link helpful: 

http://www.gerrymcgovern.com/new-thinking/vital-importance-first-click

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We're excited to welcome Indian River State College to the OU Campus user community!"
yesterday
Profile IconKrishneel Kishor and Dana DeFebbo joined University Web Developers
Wednesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn how to quickly arm yourself with the website usability data you need to cut through internal politics! Tune in to Higher Ed Live this Friday at 1PM ET. "
Wednesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Nearly 57 million people in the U.S. have some form of disability. Learn how to S.I.F.T. through your website’s content for accessibility compliance in today's post! "
Wednesday
Nic Winn replied to Morgan A. Huff's discussion Is there a University Web Developers Slack group?
"A team just started up. You can send a request to leta@berkeley.edu and she can add your schools domain. Then anyone with ann address there can sign in at https://uwebd.slack.com/signup."
Wednesday
Kelsey Layos posted a discussion

Help faculty, staff, and students transition to Canvas!

The Office of Information Technology at UCI has two vacancies for Technology Support Specialists to assist faculty, staff, and students through the Canvas transition (see sites.uci.edu/canvas/).Please share this with others looking to:Help faculty, staff, and students use Canvas and associated toolsSolve problems and remove barriers for end-users dealing with software changeDevelop productive relationships and positive rapport with…See More
Monday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"It's Module Monday! Strengthen your school's marketing power and brand with our Faculty Directory module. See it in action! "
Monday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"How do you get all the help your web team needs without taking a bite out of the budget? We've got the answer in today's blog post!!​​"
Apr 27
Profile IconCraig Koebelin and Evan Starr joined University Web Developers
Apr 27
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn why Hope College switched from open source Drupal to OU Campus to manage its website in our new case study! "
Apr 25
Ronny Murahwa is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 21
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out today's blog post for tips on how to structure your institution's website content based on student interests! "
Apr 20
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Ready to optimize your website visitors' search experience? Tune in this Friday to Higher Ed Live at 1PM ET and get tips on how it’s done from Utah Valley University and Oklahoma City Community College. "
Apr 20
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Get your 2016 Gadget Challenge idea submitted for a chance to win free registration to #OUTC17! "
Apr 19
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"There’s no better time to shine than at NCMPR’s 2017 national conference in Charleston, SC! Submit your proposal by May 2 for your chance to present. "
Apr 15
Kevin Kinder commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn about the website transformation that got University of North Carolina School of the Arts nominated for a Webby Award in our latest blog post!"
Apr 13
Kevin Kinder commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Let’s show support for our fellow OmniUpdate community member and vote for University of North Carolina School of the Arts in The Webby Awards. Their site is stunning!"
Apr 12
Kevin Kinder commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Does your site look stunning on desktop, but takes eons to load on mobile? Tarrant County College’s Stephen Fornal has the fix in Community college week!"
Apr 7
Kevin Kinder commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Don’t play catch-up! It’s critical to focus on your web presence now rather than later. Why? Get the scoop on our blog."
Apr 6
Kevin Kinder commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Introducing Module Monday, where every first Monday of the month one of our modules will be featured. Check out this month's module! "
Apr 6

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2016   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service