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7:10 Use Site Maps

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7:10 Use Site Maps

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 2 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 4 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline




Use site maps for Web sites that have many pages.


Site maps provide an overview of the Web site. They may display the hierarchy of the Web site, may be designed to resemble a traditional table of contents, or may be a simple index.

Some studies suggest that site maps do not necessarily improve user's mental representations of a Web site. Also, one study reported that if a site map does not reflect user's (or the domains) conceptual structure, then the utility of the map is lessened. One study showed that only 7% of users turned to the sitemap when asked to learn about the site's structure.


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Good Example:

The use of headers and, subcategories, and alphabetization makes this site map easy to scan.


This site map effectively presents the sites information hierarchy. The expand/collapse controls (plus/minus signs) allow visitors to check sub-sections without leaving the site map.


This site map provides an A Z index of the web sites content.


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