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Sector Guide

The Sector guide provides step-by-step guidance for your Sector Projects.

Organising your content

Sector allows you to organise your content in structures that your intended audience can grasp quickly.

Hierarchical 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).

Known limitations:

  • Scalability - menu hierarchy fails if there are too many items per level, or if the weight between branches is unbalanced.

  • Hierarchical content assumes the principal of 'one page, one position'. In a web context, this often does not work. If the principle is broken, context - and users - will be lost. 

Taxonomy-driven content

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:

  • Large content in combination with a knowledge-based navigation pattern (like Wikipedia)

  • Clearly defined taxonomies, consistent content grouping, and curated metadata

  • Search-driven navigation.

Known limitations:

  • What you win in scalability you can lose in structure.

Search-driven content

Search-driven or enabled content is organised in lists. The user can search through the content by 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.

Known limitations:

  • You need to use your audience vocabulary and search terms.

User-centric content design 

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.

Known limitations:

  • 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.

 


* We 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.  

Open Source award winner!

Sparks Interactive are delighted to accept the Open Source Use in Business award for Sector and the Sector.nz open source platform

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