Fixing the information architecture of my site

Last month, in What’s wrong with my site, I picked three small improvements and assigned them each to a different “Future Shane”.

fix the Information Architecture (IA) of this site. If someone comes to and reads an interesting article, it’s difficult for them to explore. That’s a problem because there’s over fifty great articles that they might like.

June Shane, June 2019

So I (July Shane) got out the sticky notes and tried to make sense of the content of this site.

Step 1: Write all titles on sticky notes

Room with sticky notes on the wall
One sticky note per post, arranged by date

As I was writing the title of each post onto a sticky note, I put them up on the wall in chronological order. It was very pleasing to see that I have had no months without a post in over 2.5 years.

Room with some sticky notes on the wall and others scattered on the floor
One sticky note per post, arranged by gravity

What wasn’t pleasing was when half my sticky notes fell onto the floor.

I think many years ago they came out with Super Sticky notes which seems like a complete contradiction of the value proposition but I think it’s just an acknowledgement that the original formulation fell off more than we’d like. I don’t think of them as Super Sticky, just the proper amount of sticky for most uses.

Steve Portigal, Dollars to Donuts podcast

Next time, I’ll get the Super Sticky notes.

Step 2: Arrange by topic

I then moved all of my sticky notes to the floor so that gravity could work for me instead of against me. I grouped the blog posts by topic and tried to give meaningful names to each group.

Sticky notes arranged on a hardwood floor
Grouped and labeled sticky notes; this time on the floor

Step 3: Implement

After a couple more iterations, here’s what I came up with.

Screenshot of navigation menu with 6 items: About me, UX strategy, UX tactics, Data visualization, Programming, and Other ramblings
My new menu

For comparison, here’s the old one.

Screenshot of the main navigation of the site. 

    About Me & Contact
        Google Apps Script
        Google Forms
        Google Sheets
    Oddly Specific: Various Notes and Collections of Links
    Getting Started in UX
Search bar
My old menu

I still don’t love it but it way better represents what I write about most. It also is simple enough to fit into a top-level menu instead of a hamburger menu, which I’m sure August Shane will appreciate.

2 thoughts on “Fixing the information architecture of my site”

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