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: 226

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
"Did you know your website’s user experience can impact your marketing efforts? Learn how to assess UX and make it a top priority in today's blog post! "
Wednesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We welcome our friends at Kentucky Community & Technical College System to the OmniUpdate family! "
Tuesday
Profile IconPaul Paire and Amy M Andrade joined University Web Developers
Jul 18
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Spelling errors, broken links, weak SEO, and accessibility issues can negatively affect your site visitors’ user experience. Learn how OU Insights continually monitors these areas and helps keep visitors on your site in today's blog post! "
Jul 13
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Giving a warm SoCal welcome to our newest family member, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District! "
Jul 12
Bryce Anderson is now a member of University Web Developers
Jul 12
Profile IconJeannette Modic and Lisa Jones joined University Web Developers
Jul 11
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are you meeting the high expectations of your technologically savvy site visitors? Found out how to elevate their user experience by focusing on six key areas in today's blog post. "
Jul 7
Cathy Wooten is now a member of University Web Developers
Jul 6
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Train 300+ content contributors after not one, but two website redesigns? No problem! Discover University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s recipe for success in today's blog post. "
Jun 29
Colleen Brennan-Barry posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2016 welcomes LeVar Burton, Kimberly Bryant, more

HighEdWeb is very pleased to announce our outstanding 2016 Annual Conference keynote speakers: Kimberly Bryant, Aspen Institute Fellow and founder of Black Girls CODE, and LeVar Burton, actor, director and educator.We’re also excited to share our full presentation schedule, which includes more than 70 presentations given in 7…See More
Jun 29
Sara Clark posted discussions
Jun 28
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are your digital marketing campaigns effective? Learn how to measure the success of your digital efforts in this Thursday’s Higher Ed Live episode at 1PM ET with Jon Anspaugh from Oral Roberts University! "
Jun 28
Scott Knauer is now a member of University Web Developers
Jun 23
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Get the story behind our newest module OU Alerts and how our customers are helping shape its future in today's blog post! "
Jun 22
Vivek G. Bharathan is now a member of University Web Developers
Jun 21
Marc Boman joined Paul Branham's group
Thumbnail

Community Colleges

Discussions and such pertaining to the unique situations that present themselves to Community Colleges.
Jun 20
Marc Boman joined Mark Greenfield's group
Jun 20
Dan Demmons posted a discussion

SVA - anyone using this for their marketing campaigns

Hello everyone,I'm wondering if anyone is using SVA to help assist with their marketing efforts? Brief info on what SVA is - http://www.carnegiecomm.com/blog/non-traditional-student-audiences-cant-find-them-build-them/Here's a company that provides assistance with incorporating SVA- http://www.semcasting.com/I've a…See More
Jun 16
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Looking for the secrets to success for a website redesign? Check out our latest blog post for some great tips! "
Jun 15

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