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Office of Information Technology (OIT)

UT Arlington
OIT: Office of Information Technology ·  Work Order · 817-272-2208 · System Status

We are your IT partner!

Tips for Preparing Your Material

The most common mistake people make is that they organize their content according to their internal administration rather than according to how their users will be looking for it.

What good is it to have great content if no one can ever find it? In addition to helping your users, it is easier to maintain your website if it is structured and well-organized.

Organize your content into different groupings, such as "by topic", "by audience", or "by task".

Our three areas of navigation (global, local, and header) give you the opportunity to sort your content into different types of groups. For example, you may choose to organize your primary navigation by topic, your secondary navigation by audience, and your header navigation by task. When your material is organized you can submit a content outline.

Be brief but descriptive.

Navigation labels should be descriptive enough to help the user make intelligent choices. Labels that are too general become meaningless, for example avoid labels such as "Important Information" or "Miscellaneous".

Put yourself in the shoes of your users.

The most common problem with websites is that the information in them is organized according to the company's organizational structure, rather than according to the users' needs. You can dramatically improve your website's effectiveness by making it easier for people to find what they are looking for. 

Use progressive disclosure.

Progressive disclosure is a method of organizing and labelling information so that it is sequenced across several screens. By disclosing information progressively, you reveal only the essentials and help the user manage the complexity of your website. This helps maintain the user's attention. Users are willing to click several times to find something as long as they are being reassured along the way that they are headed in the right direction.