What’s a Site Map?

Site maps are organizational tools that help outline an overview of your website or project you are working on. Site maps are very similar to flowcharts; however the difference is that flowcharts represent a step-by-step solution while Site maps just show a top down view of pages.

The Format

There are many different ways of laying out site maps and the size of your site will determine how large your site map is and how it looks. Below is a very simple example of site maps for a small site.
Uses for Site Map

There are three primary uses for a sitemap that will help the progression of your project tremendously.

1. They Show the Flow – A site map will show you have your site flows and will help you identify any usability issues in your design. An example of an issue with the example site map was that there is only one way to get to the contact us page. We might want to consider making that easier on the user.

2. They Act as a Checklist – Site maps are great for check-listing. When you are completely done with a page and completed all of the content, links, images, and so on, you can simply check it off.

3. They Help Fill in the Gaps – While working on a complex site it is very easy to forget details or even features you once wanted to include. Include them in your site map to ensure nothing gets missed.

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