Our sitemap mimics the users' mental model. First, users/customers 
don't really use sites in terms of pages. They don't search for pages, 
they search for information and functions. Second, they don't surf in  
a linear fashion.

Based on that, we've developed a sitemap model that mimics the users' 
mental model, is a bit abstracted, accommodates for the way they surf 
(non-linear, non-page paradigm).

Our sitemap model includes a visual illustration of where things live 
(e.g. content, functions), descriptions of the audiences who are using 
the site (product), primary user experience issues, and a key on one 
page, a mental model diagram on another page, and finally a 
user/business goals matrix that shows where in the site we intend to 
address/achieve these goals.

A sample is available at: 
http://messagefirst.com/downloads/BR_Sitemap_v1.5.pdf (1.6MB)

On Feb 27, 2005, at 12:55 PM, Dimple Mohan wrote:

> What elements comprise your sitemap deliverable? At what stage of your 
> production process do you start creating this deliverable? Do you 
> create one at all? If not how what are your approaches to offering 
> navigation and content type suggestions to your client? Do you think  
> metadata, content tagging and keyword site searches can mitigate the 
> use of a site map? Would you recommend Site Indexes as a better 
> navigation tool than site maps? Any research or writing to support 
> your input?
> Also, I would appreciate if you could direct me to reports or writings 
> or findings on the importance and approach to creating sitemap 
> deliverables as well the popularity of the use of the site indexes in 
> web initiatives today.
> Thanks,
> Dimple Mohan


Todd R. Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
MessageFirst | making products easier to use
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