Sector allows you to organise your content in structures that your intended audience can grasp quickly.
Approaches to organising content
Hierarchical content* is stored in pages. The pages are organised in a menu tree.
This concept works well with:
Linear content structure and user movements (book-like content - A to B to C)
'Layered' information architecture (information about information - in promotional or introductory top layers).
Scalability - menu hierarchy fails if there are too many items per level, or if the weight between branches is unbalanced.
Hierarchical content assumes the principle of 'one page, one position'. In a web context, this often does not work. If the principle is broken, context will be lost (along with users).
Taxonomy or data-driven content is organised in lists managed via sort and filter criteria. The sort and filter criteria can be either data or taxonomy-based.
The concept works well with:
A large amount of content in combination with a knowledge-based navigation pattern (like Wikipedia)
Clearly defined taxonomies, consistent content grouping, and curated metadata
- What you win in scalability you can lose in structure.
The Sector Starter Kit provides a basic starting point for taxonomy-driven content with the content types for News and Resources, and Sector add-ons provide more options to sort and display content based on taxonomies. For example, try out Index A-Z online demo.
Search-driven or search-enabled content is organised in lists. The user can search the content by using keywords and filter results by relevance.
The concept works well for:
Content that is designed to be both findable and searchable.
Systems that have a powerful, scalable search engine and index.
You need to use your audience's vocabulary and search terms.
Find out what you can achieve with Sector Search API and Search Facets configuration.
User-centric content design
A user-centric approach focuses the design process on user needs and priorities.
This requires a move from an organisational-focused information architecture and navigation to a structure focused on user needs, objectives and priorities. This can become a challenge if the ownership and responsibility for content on the site is divided along departmental lines.
The concept works well:
For all sites.
Requires budgets that allow for user focus groups, as well as quantitative and qualitative user testing using both remote and face-to-face methods.
Requires a high level of change management and commitment inside the business.
Need help getting started with your content?
* To distinguish between hierarchical content and content hierarchy - when we talk about hierarchical content we refer to an overarching hierarchy between content pages. Similar principles apply to visual content hierarchy on a single page.