This week we are going to talk about site maps for website. It really helps designers to understand the structure of a website and also the hierarchy and relationship of different pages. The first time I use “site map” as a method to facilitate design is actually when I was doing a redesign of a mobile phone application. I think even though what I was designing is not a “site” but an mobile app, the principle and theory of “app map” is the same as “site map”.
For that project, the purpose of using an app map is to analyze the current application to identify issues, then try to redesign a better information architecture for this app. I played around all the options of the current app then I made a tree chart to show the structure and relationship of all the options. During that process, I identify some labels’ names are not that clear, some options’ relationships are too complicated and hard to understand, and some useful features are missing. Based on the current app map, I created a new map to improve the structure of this application, by reordering options, grouping pages, adding new features, and adjusting hierarchy, etc. It’s a really helpful way to help me understand the app from a high level perspective, and make changes in a very efficient way.