Surfability solutions: WebLayoutTM

At the beginning of a website improvement project, ideal visions of a website's taxonomy and hierarchy are gleaned from stakeholder consultations.

Drawing semantic site maps

The Surfability team have built on the earlier, manual SunWeb 'card-sorting' techniques and developed WebLayout, an interactive software tool that enables users to arrange various topics and the linkages between them, and record their 'visions' electronically - see the figure below.

Screenshot from WebLayout showing the hierarchy and main linkages of this website.
A simple example of WebLayout in action

Using this tool, Mark Williams, our Managing Director, produced his first large-scale concept map in 1998 for the BaBar web improvement project and we have continued to use it to design hierarchical websites for Surfability clients, including the London City Institute.

Gap analysis

The 'semantic sitemaps' produced in WebLayout may highlight the need for additional or reduced content on a website.

The KhronoMeta analysis tool can also be used to compare these sitemaps with actual website usage patterns.

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