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: 201

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
"Our customer, Eric Li from Wharton County Junior College, shares his experience presenting on WCJC's Faculty Website. Read it now! "
Friday
Pamela Riesmeyer joined Mark Greenfield's group
Thumbnail

Accessibility

This group is for all those interested in Web Accessibility.See More
Friday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"The OmniUpdate family is happy to welcome Bard College at Simon's Rock! "
Thursday
Tim Yandel is now a member of University Web Developers
Thursday
Mahmud Rahman is now a member of University Web Developers
Tuesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please help us welcome our newest customer, Butler County Community College! Thanks for joining us."
Nov 17
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are you working to increase your institution’s ranking in search results? Read today's blog post to learn how!"
Nov 12
Ronna Johnston posted a status
"Is anyone willing to share their RFP for a Content Management System? We are pursuing a university -wide tool. Thanks in advance."
Nov 12
Jonathan Thompson posted a discussion

Front End Developer--Johns Hopkins University

The Front End Developer is part of a team that provides development, analysis of websites, web-based applications, and web-based services in support of the work of the Johns Hopkins University Office of Communications and reports to the Director of Digital Strategy.The primary duties and responsibilities of the job include:Works at high programming and creative level, demonstrating proficiency in interpreting graphic visual or interaction designs using modern web standards and technologies…See More
Nov 11
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"There’s still time to submit your Topic Table proposal for OUTC15. For more information or to submit, visit our Call for Proposals page. Don't miss your chance to receive ½ off registration.The deadline for submissions is…"
Nov 10
Jonathan Thompson is now a member of University Web Developers
Nov 10
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Have you seen The University of South Alabama’s awesome News System? It’s responsive! southalabama.edu/news"
Nov 7
richard ota joined Mark Greenfield's group
Thumbnail

WordPress

This group is for all those using WordPress as both a blogging platform and as a CMS
Nov 6
richard ota joined DNI's group
Thumbnail

Cascade Server CMS

For folks who use (or are interested in) Hannon Hill's Cascade Server CMS productSee More
Nov 6
richard ota joined Lynn Zawie's group
Thumbnail

OmniUpdate

Share your experiences using OmniUpdate CMS
Nov 6
richard ota joined Arlen Johnson's group
Thumbnail

Calendars

Discuss event calendars and calendaring - identify products, solutions, and needs
Nov 6
Kari Johnston is now a member of University Web Developers
Nov 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congratulations to UC Irvine School of Social Sciences for going live with their new responsive website! www.socsci.uci.edu"
Nov 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn the real difference between on-premise and cloud-based software solutions in today’s blog post! "
Nov 5
Anita Rao posted a discussion

Digital Library Web Developer at Amherst College

The Amherst College Library seeks a talented programmer to help develop and maintain systems and tools supporting digital asset management, digital scholarship and publishing, and digital preservation. Amherst College has profoundly transformed its student body in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and nationality, among other areas. Today, nearly one-quarter of Amherst’s students consists of Pell Grant recipients, and many more are first generation students; nearly half of our students…See More
Nov 5

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

© 2014   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service