Site maps represent the information architecture of a website. It will typically have the homepage with sub to other topics.
For example, a newspaper may have pages on world politics, sports and entertainment. Each category will have subcategories that lead to other parts of the information architecture.
· How the website is structured
· How the content is organised
· Influences primary navigation but not all navigation
· Defines the where the content will live
· Significant impacts on the user experience
How to correct problems with the information architecture
Benchmark other products, other websites, and competitors in your relevant field, industry, or potential future markets. It is good to do this to see the mental models and information architecture that your competitors have used to resolve problems with the information architecture.
You do not need to reinvent the wheel because there are many bright people in the UX design industry and other professions where you can find great ideas and solutions that others have already created.
Love your web traffic data
Looking at the data regarding your website or company website, you will be able to see the most popular sections or topics in your information architecture.
Once you know the most popular, you can start building architecture that best suits the information structure.
Use the data gathered and staff to card sort people to investigate using the data and using real users to see what information architecture works the best by testing you checking the information with analytics and keep refining this process.
Users’ mental models must correspond with the user interface design (UI) about matching the point of developing, designing and gathering all information, doing card sorting and usability tests.
All prior research would be pointless on what users are doing, what the users are thinking and what the users feel corresponds to a user experience that best matches most users’ needs.
Analysis techniques Notes for UX Design Blog Link