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!

Tags: content, footer, header

Views: 210

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

Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We’re so happy to welcome Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges to the OmniUpdate family!"
Friday
Ken Pooley replied to Ken Pooley's discussion Examples of landing pages in Higher Ed
"Good question....having spent a little time, between stops in highered, in a business which was pretty cut throat competitive and really leveraged direct response marketing and jailed landing pages at a high level, I have been surprised how little…"
Wednesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"When 404 happens, what do your visitors see? Find out how some of your higher ed peers are keeping visitors on their website in today's blog post! "
Wednesday
Florentin Albu posted discussions
Tuesday
Profile IconFlorentin Albu and Ashley Banks joined University Web Developers
Tuesday
Rachel Carden posted a discussion

Speakers needed for HighEdWeb Alabama conference - Deadline is Friday, April 24

You have great ideas. The HighEdWeb Alabama conference is looking for great ideas! Please consider sharing your great ideas with HighEdWeb Alabama! Our call for speakers is open until Friday!Share You Brain With Us!We all think and work differently. Whether you realize it or not, you have unique insight, skills, and expertise that others have not experienced. We want to hear about your projects and your strategy. We want you to share your brain…See More
Tuesday
Chris Paddock replied to Ken Pooley's discussion Examples of landing pages in Higher Ed
"Hi Ken,  Can I ask, are you trying to get better perspective on the experience, construction, something else? Just curious.  Chris "
Tuesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"What exactly is a well-composed picture when it comes to your website? Marie Wise from Lower Columbia College has the answer! Why You Want Pictures on Your Web Pages (Part 2) "
Apr 14
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn about the 2015 OmniUpdate Hackathon from the ‪#‎OU15Hackathon‬ participants themselves in this blog post! "
Apr 10
Kris Read is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 10
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"OU Campus Users: Get the 2015 OmniUpdate User Training Conference presentation slides, photos, and videos now on the OmniUpdate Community Network! Don't miss Lance Merker's opening, "The Key to Web Success: Leveraging the Power of the…"
Apr 9
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Another enlightening post by Marie Wise from Lower Columbia College on the importance of pictures on your higher ed‬ website! Read it now."
Apr 8
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Honored to have Kodiak College join our OU Campus users. 50,000 and counting!"
Apr 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"OmniUpdate is proud to present, in cooperation with our business partners, the OmniUpdate Concierge Program! Learn more about it on our blog. "
Apr 1
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Did you miss our latest webex on OU Search? See it now and find out why it's a better and faster search solution!"
Mar 31
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Excited to welcome Rosemont College​ into the OU Campus user community!"
Mar 27
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Guest blogger Michael Stoner of mStoner shares tips on how to incorporate social media on your college or university website! "
Mar 26
John PArdavila is now a member of University Web Developers
Mar 26
Sherry Nelson joined Arlen Johnson's group
Thumbnail

Calendars

Discuss event calendars and calendaring - identify products, solutions, and needs
Mar 25
Ken Pooley posted discussions
Mar 25

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

© 2015   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service