guide

Path Structures

site flowchart sampleThe path is the portion of the URL that comes after the .com or the .org. To help illustrate what paths are and the role they play in your site, consider the site flowchart on the right.

The home box would the the domain:

The shrubs section landing page could be titled Shrubs. The URL path could be

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Contextual Content

Contextual content helps to add meaning to the core content, site section, or even the entire site. But what is contextual content? What does it matter?

Below are three examples of contextual content.

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Supplemental Content

What is supplemental content? According to the dictionary, content that is supplement is "something that completes or makes an addition."[fn]http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supplement[/fn] Okay, maybe you are thinking "That's nice but what does it have to do with my page?"

It is easier to explain supplemental content using examples.

Examples

Consider the following examples for a moment.

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Core Content

When I refer to core content, I am referring to the content displayed in the main content area of a page (as shown in the simple wireframe to the right).

In Drupal, the content area of the page typically displays a node but it could also display items such as

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Content

Now that you have used up some of your page real estate on identification and navigation, you can use what’s left to provide your audience the content they came to see in the first place.

When we think of content, quite often the first thing that comes to mind is the article or reading provided on the page. It is the heart of page. In Drupal, it is typically referred to as the node. But content is much more than that. We are not limited to content being displayed in the main content area of a page via the Drupal node. We can insert content in other areas of the page as well.

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Identify Page Components

Now that you know the pages you need to design and how they relate to each other, your next step is to decide what will be on each page. To make this decision you need

  • to review your requirements
  • to know what is commonly included on pages
  • a process for organizing your page component decisions.

These details, along with your requirements, will help your developers create an inventory for development.

Common Page Components

A typical page can include the following:

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A Design Process

It’s easy to throw around terms like information architecture, interactions, content design, and visual design but in reality, if you don’t use a process to manage these perspectives, you could end up missing several important details and ultimately deliver a site that does not meet expectations.

One way to facilitate the design phase is to perform these four steps.

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What gets designed?

Ven Diagram: visual design, interactive design, info arch, content designWhat gets designed in Drupal OR any site for that matter? In my experience, there are four perspectives to site design:

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Support Site Sustainment

Support Site Sustainment, helps the planner define and create processes needed to ensure the site can be sustained. In order to sustain a site, you need to consider the technology and the use of the site: general technology maintenance, new technology enhancements, and content growth.

This chapter is still being written.

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Support Development

This chapter helps the planner ensure that the requirements and design are interpreted as intended and that impacts to the plan from decisions made during the development process are acceptable.

At the end of this chapter, the planner should be able to

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Pages

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