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: 243

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

Colleen Brennan-Barry posted a discussion

NOW HIRING: Operations Director

Position Title:Operations Director of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association Position Overview:Reporting to the President of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association (www.highedweb.org), the Operations Director is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operations of the Association and its volunteers. The Operations Director will work with the Board of Directors to facilitate the implementation of a strategic plan, and lay the…See More
Monday
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Upcoming webcast: Join Robin Kelly from the University of Texas at Tyler as she shares tips and tricks to improve productivity as a web professional. Register today!"
Sep 11
Eloine Chapman replied to Eloine Chapman's discussion Should we migrate to https?
"Thanks Barb!"
Sep 1
Eloine Chapman replied to Eloine Chapman's discussion Should we migrate to https?
"Thanks Jason!"
Sep 1
Elizabeth Hyde-Copeland is now a member of University Web Developers
Aug 30
Gavin Younger is now a member of University Web Developers
Aug 24
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Our 2018 OmniUpdate User Training Conference will be held in Anaheim on March 25 - 29! Speak at OUTC and you could receive free registration. Submit your proposal today!"
Aug 18
Jason Brady replied to Eloine Chapman's discussion Should we migrate to https?
"We have started the move to make all our sites HTTPS. With our InCommon membership (paid by our State Chancellor's Ofice), we get free certificates, so there is no ongoing costs. In 2014, Google said they give some SEO bumps to HTTPS sites.…"
Aug 18
Profile IconMichael Harvey, Bill Hartley and Jeff Dobbin joined University Web Developers
Aug 18
Barb Iannucci replied to Eloine Chapman's discussion Should we migrate to https?
"Yep, I got the same messages. Some of our sites use SSL and we've been talking about migrating all the rest our sites for a while now. I suspect we will be doing it rather than just talking about it sooner rather than later now. :\"
Aug 18
Eloine Chapman posted a discussion

Should we migrate to https?

I recently got a notice from Google that in October 2017 Chrome V62 with show the warning "NOT SECURE" on all our web pages we have a input field for search. Since on most of our pages there is nothing that would require secure information I've never felt the need for HTTPS. Our class registration pages are secure but not the general information pages. The warning is going to scare people though. Are others upgrading their websites?See More
Aug 17
Colleen Brennan-Barry posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2017 Early-Bird Pricing available through July 31

It’s the last week get HighEdWeb 2017 early-bird registration pricing! When you register for the Annual Conference by the end of Monday, July 31, you save $100 — and who doesn’t love that?!Register by July 31 to save $100…See More
Jul 25
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Upcoming webcast: Join Angela Cavaliere from Montgomery County Community College as she demonstrates how to perform user testing to improve overall web experience. Register today!"
Jul 12
Michael E Matzkin joined Mark Greenfield's group
Thumbnail

WordPress

This group is for all those using WordPress as both a blogging platform and as a CMS
Jul 10
Dan Bashaw commented on Mark Greenfield's group WordPress
"Hi Samuel – WordPress will be a good choice for this kind of project. Can you let us know more about what features you are thinking of adding? It seems to me that a combination of a WordPress site and tightly integrated social media channels…"
Jun 29
Samuel Omotoso commented on Mark Greenfield's group WordPress
"I am just joining this platform and i started using wordpress lately. My interest is building and interactive alumni and membership site for my university. Any willing to help out?"
Jun 29
Samuel Omotoso joined Mark Greenfield's group
Thumbnail

WordPress

This group is for all those using WordPress as both a blogging platform and as a CMS
Jun 29
Samuel Omotoso is now a member of University Web Developers
Jun 28
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Functionality of your website should be your foundation, but design is an important next step. See how design enhances your site in part two of this series. "
Jun 26
David Luhr posted a discussion

Digital Content Manager at Westminster College

Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT is looking for a talented Digital Content Manager. Join our Agile web team and manage content for our high-traffic website, which recently won Sitefinity's Website of the Year 2016 award.View the full job description and apply today: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/westminstercollege/jobs/1767574/digital-content-managerSee More
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

© 2017   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service