Site mapping

Decide

What it is

A comprehensive rendering of how a website’s pages relate to one another.

Reasons to use it

To audit an existing website by assessing its structure and content. Site maps also help you plan and organize the contents of a new website prior to wireframing and building it.

Time required

Small: 2–3 hours

How to do it

  1. List each page of a website or section.

  2. Take a screenshot of each page. Create a thumbnail for each screenshot.

  3. Print the thumbnails on individual pages if completing this exercise in person. Remote teams can use a shared whiteboard tool. Arrange the page thumbnails into a hierarchical diagram. Focus on the logical relationships between pages. If you're evaluating an existing website, focus more on these relationships than on the URL structure. If some pages function as sub-pages to another, the site map should reflect that.

  4. Use the diagram to guide choices about things like information architecture and URL structures.

Applied in government research

No PRA implications. No information is collected from members of the public.

Examples from 18F