Importance of Site and Content Map
We prefer to use the term “Site Hierarchy Diagram” rather than a “Site & Content Map”. It’s just more descriptive as it provides an easy-to-understand and VISUAL representation of how the website content is organized from the home page to the main category landing pages to the lower category detail pages. It helps with labeling and grouping common content and defines the flow in terms of global, local, topic and utility level navigation components. Note that Beacon’s version does not serve as a complete content inventory of all pages, but focuses on major content groupings.
Why is this important? It serves as the foundation for which everything else is built upon. Think of it as the table of contents for a book or the blueprint for a house. You’d be lost without either of these, right? As you build the website, it helps organize the content concisely under the new site (existing & new content). Furthermore, it aids in shaping the overall design, while also providing a visual tool so you can share the vision with all stakeholders.
You will also find, particularly in a Higher Education setting, that it forces you to define your business goals and know the needs of your audiences.