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: 176

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
"Wondering how to create your own CMS gadget? Check out today's blog post! "
Thursday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Another new customer! We welcome Clark College to the OmniUpdate family and OU Campus CMS user community!"
Wednesday
Profile IconAndy Long, Melba Acevedo and George Fullerton joined University Web Developers
Tuesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We warmly welcome Dillard University to the OmniUpdate family! We're excited to have them aboard the OU Campus CMS user train!"
Apr 14
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We welcome Reynolds Community College to the OU Campus CMS user community! We're excited to have them in the OmniUpdate family!"
Apr 11
Brian Richardson is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 10
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"New post up on the blog! Tips from Higher Education Marketing's CEO Philippe Taza on Tackling Higher Ed Digital Marketing Challenges. Give it a read and comment on your top challenges!"
Apr 9
John Jackson commented on Debbie's blog post New ICANN TLDs
"We've identified the domains we want to follow, such as .education (released at the end of March), .college, .university, and .sucks (I'm serious on the last one). The last three listed are still in the evaluation phase.  Just today…"
Apr 9
Brett Sizemore posted a discussion

Interactive Designer

APPLY AT: https://jobs.pepperdine.eduThe Interactive Designer supports Pepperdine's integrated marketing communications efforts aimed at strengthening the brand, elevating national reputation, improving recruitment, and building engagement through creative design across media including web, mobile, broadcast, print, and events.DUTIES: Directly support the creative communications needs of the University through the development and execution of integrated…See More
Apr 8
Brett Sizemore is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 8
Heather Godwin joined Rik Williams's group
Thumbnail

Maps and Mapping

For the discussion of the Mapping of University campuses and facilities from static images to groovy Google mashups.
Apr 7
Profile IconMatt Dana and Heather Godwin joined University Web Developers
Apr 7
Matt Lauer is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We've got another new customer! We warmly welcome Morehouse School of Medicine to the OmniUpdate family and OU Campus CMS user community!"
Apr 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out this great video from our friends at University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service promoting their new uaex.edu website!"
Apr 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn about our 2014 OmniUpdate Customer of the Year in today's blog post! "
Apr 2
John Eastvold joined David Wissore's group
Apr 2
John Eastvold added a discussion to the group ColdFusion
Thumbnail

ColdFusion Web developer Job Just Posted

I just posted a job listing and wanted to bring it to this group's attention.  It is primarily a ColdFusion Developer position.http://cuwebd.ning.com/forum/topics/web-applications-and-systems-developer-administratorSee More
Apr 2
John Eastvold posted a discussion

Web Applications and Systems Developer/Administrator

Posting specificationsOpen to all qualified candidatesCampus LocationDuluth, MNJob TitleWeb Applications and Systems Developer/AdministratorJob GroupStaffJob SummaryThis position is responsible for effectively implementing and administrating the College’s web applications utilizing appropriate tools to assist the College in achieving its strategic initiatives.Key Results/ResponsibilitiesRequired Qualifications- Bachelor’s degree or comparable technical certification, training, and experience.-…See More
Apr 2
Marcus Taylor is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 2

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