IA & wireframing

Site map

Colton Schweitzer
October 14, 2020

How many times have you used Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Mapquest (#tbt) to get directions? Probably a lot. 

Now, imagine these services didn’t exist. Imagine you're a cartographer living 400 years ago in a region that hadn’t been mapped yet. Think about how difficult that would have been, to be responsible for mapping unknown lands. 

In order to plot new locations on your map, you would have to get a full sense of the surrounding area either through your own trials and tribulations or through the stories from locals. At the end of the day, you're the one responsible for documenting where towns are located and the safest way to get there.

Needless to say, maps revolutionized how we recognize locations, categorize space, and navigate to where we want to go.  And just like you can map the world, you can also map a website or app to get a lay of the land. 

So the question is, what is a site map?

A site map is a high-level diagram that shows the structure of a website or application. It shows the organization of navigation and how many levels of information there are. Site maps aren’t intended to show the path a user takes when they visit a website. They are intended to help define the current and future structure of a website. 

Site maps can be really high-level, only showing site-wide navigation. Or they can be more granular, showing how each level of information connects to the overall structure. For example, here is a high-level site map for Apple.com. It shows the different top-level navigation including Mac, iPad, iPhone, and so on. 

You can take this further by adding the categories of information below for each of the top-levels of navigation. 

Back to vault

204

Back to vault

204

What is UX?

2
Getting started

Why is UX important?

3
Getting started

What is the UX process?

4
Getting started

What is design thinking?

5
Getting started

What do UX designers do?

6
Getting started

UX vs UI

7
Getting started

Do UX designers need to know how to code?

8
Getting started

Recommended UX books

9
Getting started

UX university programs: Pros & cons

12
Getting started

UX bootcamps: Pros & cons

13
Getting started

6 brutal truths aspiring UX designers don't want to hear

14
Getting started

Difference Between Graphic Designer vs UX Designer vs UI Designer

15
Getting started

Intro to research & understanding

101
Research & understanding

Finding a problem to solve

102
Research & understanding

SWOT analysis

103
Research & understanding

Competitive analysis

104
Research & understanding

Heuristic evaluation (usability evaluation)

105
Research & understanding

Task analysis

106
Research & understanding

Stakeholder interview

107
Research & understanding

Framing the problem

108
Research & understanding

Research plan

109
Research & understanding

Survey

110
Research & understanding

User interview

111
Research & understanding

Card sorting

112
Research & understanding

Customer journey map

113
Research & understanding

Empathy map

114
Research & understanding

Affinity diagram

115
Research & understanding

Personas

116
Research & understanding

Contextual inquiry

117
Research & understanding

Diary study

120
Research & understanding

Eye tracking

121
Research & understanding

Intro to IA

201
IA & wireframing

Layout + CRAP

203
IA & wireframing

Site map

204
IA & wireframing

Scenarios

205
IA & wireframing

Storyboards

206
IA & wireframing

Low vs high-fidelity

207
IA & wireframing

Sketching

208
IA & wireframing

Wireframes

209
IA & wireframing

User flows

210
IA & wireframing

Intro to usability testing

301
Prototyping & usability testing

Usability testing plan

302
Prototyping & usability testing

Prototypes

304
Prototyping & usability testing

Research report

305
Prototyping & usability testing

Typography basics

401
Visual design & handoff

Color basics

402
Visual design & handoff

Color accessibility

403
Visual design & handoff

Pixels vs points

404
Visual design & handoff

Layout + 8pt grid system

405
Visual design & handoff

Design system

406
Visual design & handoff

UX writing

408
Visual design & handoff

"Final" usability test

409
Visual design & handoff

UX portfolio basics

501
UX portfolio

Your portfolio is just another UX project

502
UX portfolio

Choosing a site builder for your UX portfolio

503
UX portfolio

UX portfolio inspiration

504
UX portfolio

5 tips for junior UXers asking for portfolio feedback

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UX portfolio