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: 200

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
"OU Campus Developers: There's still time to build and submit your working gadgets to our 2014 Gadget Challenge for a chance to win free registration + travel reimbursement to OUTC15! Learn more about building gadgets in OU Campus by…"
11 hours ago
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Last chance to submit your proposals to present at #OUTC15 "
Friday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A lot of our customers are presenting at HighEdWeb! See who in today's blog post.  "
Thursday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Voting has officially begun! Check out the gadget ideas submitted by your higher ed peers and vote for the ones you would like to see incorporated in OU Campus. "
Wednesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Happy Tuesday! We are pleased to welcome Nevada State College as the newest addition to the OU Campus user community."
Oct 14
Zack Rosen is now a member of University Web Developers
Oct 14
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Lots to do with this year’s E-Expectations survey. See the discussion in today's blog post."
Oct 13
Jay Massey replied to Cal Anderson's discussion T4 Site Manager Implementation in the group Terminal Four Site Manager
"We just finished our institution-wide, procurement, redesign, development, migration and launch our our university's public web presence with T4 Site Manager. I've been intimately involved in the entire process. AMA... シ Jay"
Oct 13
Jay Massey joined Cal Anderson's group
Thumbnail

Terminal Four Site Manager

For institutions using Terminal Four's (T4) Site Manager CMS.See More
Oct 13
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Only one more week to submit your presentation proposals for a chance to receive free or half-priced registration to OUTC15! "
Oct 10
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out Treasure Valley Community College’s new Course Catalog. Excellent work! "
Oct 9
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please help us welcome to the OmniUpdate family our first new customer of the fall season, Millsaps College!"
Oct 8
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Now you can use the CMS features you know and love in OU Campus to succeed in your institution’s blogging efforts! Find out how in today's blog post. "
Oct 7
Profile IconDiana Muina and Kate Clark joined DNI's group
Thumbnail

Cascade Server CMS

For folks who use (or are interested in) Hannon Hill's Cascade Server CMS productSee More
Oct 7
Profile IconDiana Muina, Kate Clark, Charlie Holder and 2 more joined University Web Developers
Oct 7
Artur Charukhchyan replied to Artur Charukhchyan's discussion Wordpress setup advice needed
"Thank you!"
Oct 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"OmniUpdate customers are invited to join us Thursday, October 9th at 11AM PDT for a free 30-minute webcast all about Email Campaign Manager! Register now. "
Oct 6
Dan Bashaw replied to Artur Charukhchyan's discussion Wordpress setup advice needed
Oct 6
Dan Bashaw replied to Artur Charukhchyan's discussion Wordpress setup advice needed
"Check out a 'multisite' install for this use case -- it will be very suited to creating a departmental structure."
Oct 6
Profile IconKat Liendgens, Sarah Golden and Blaine Herman joined DNI's group
Thumbnail

Cascade Server CMS

For folks who use (or are interested in) Hannon Hill's Cascade Server CMS productSee More
Oct 3

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