architecture / ahr-ki-tek-cher
Your website’s architecture is every • thing — the entire site. It’s how content is organized, the keywords in the pages, and the number of clicks it takes to get to a subpage.
navigation / nav-i-gey-shuhn
Navigation is a component of architecture. It’s how your user finds their way through your website architecture.
Architecture and navigation are what set the stage for a successful website. The architecture creates the experience and the navigation guides you through it. The sum of this experience is engaged, informed audiences, as well as, killer SEO.
So how do we at THIEL make sure the Architecture and Navigation experience works? I’ll explain.
We make sure it’s informed by users.
A lot of people can build websites that are organized, cool and different, but are they the organized, cool and different experience their users need? To build the architecture and navigation that best serve your audiences, we need to understand their expectations for their web experience—how and why they want to use your website. So we ask them. Getting the info straight from the horse’s mouth guides us in creating engaging websites that are targeted to the audience’s needs and desires.
We make it brand-based.
At THIEL, all things stem from the Brand Profile™, a document that houses everything about your brand—messaging, visuals, story and, most importantly, your differentiating value. It’s our Bible when planning the architecture and navigation of your website. We use it as the hierarchy for where to put emphasis on information and how to guide users through the experience—not with bells and whistles, but with meaningful functionality.
We do the research.
If you want to create a differentiating experience, you need to know what else is out there. A key part of website planning is competitive benchmarking. We go into great depth when we benchmark, looking at your competitors, as well as the people who are doing things right. We look at their metadata to study things like SEO strategy, architecture of products and services, and how they’re using dynamic content. When we know the landscape, we can ensure that your website is a unique experience that tells your company’s individual story.
We make it fun.
The most crucial element of your website is fun. Attention spans are decreasing and distractions are increasing, so we make sure to incorporate functionality that keeps users engaged with your website, lowering the bounce rate and raising time-on-site. It improves SEO and makes your customers’ web experience valuable and memorable.
Architecture and navigation are key building blocks to a successful website. They enable functionality and set the stage for fun. In the next post, we’ll be diving even deeper into the fun as we talk about Design and Development.