A Matrix, A Sitemap, & Wireframes

The City of Calabasas in California recently released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking guidance for its website redesign and content overhaul. Through this extensive project, the city hopes to launch a streamlined, easy to navigate website that can be readily managed by non-technical staff. The City of Calabasas states that their current website was redesigned in 2009 and is in dire need of a refresh – and after trying to navigate it myself, I strongly agree. To hone my skills and practice some of my recent learnings, I’ve created a content report in response to the City’s RFP.  My content report for the City of Calabasas includes a core page matrix, sitemap, and wireframes for some of the high-visibility pages. These three devices will ultimately help to organize and prioritize content while taking into account the front-end design and user experience.

The Core Page Matrix

The creation of a core page matrix can help to prioritize and manage content. By assessing business goals, one is able to clearly define the purpose of core pages that contain the bulk of the website’s content. These matrices allow for objects and taxonomy to be identified so that template can be made for easier management and future site additions. The core page matrix in my report lightly touches upon some examples of what content could look like for the City of Calabasas. Keep in mind that this matrix will flex with the calendar and need to be a living document in order to keep up with trends and demands.

The Sitemap

One of the biggest concerns the City of Calabasas had with their current website was that their content was not organized in a cohesive way. By creating a simplified sitemap, I was about to outline the classification of content and dictate where it should be housed. The sitemap should always serve as guidance for how a user, whether it be a resident or visitor, should flow through the site. On my sitemap, a color-coded legend is used to distinguish features from one another. This simple step helps to heighten hierarchy at a glance and helps to determine errors.

The Wireframes

If you’ve worked with website design or user experience before, then you know how important wireframes are. Wireframes allow viewers to see a skeleton of the appearance and hierarchy of a site. This presentation is super helpful, especially when creating templated pages. The wireframes for this project highlight the need for more visuals, consistent placement and labeling, as well as more intuitive navigation. Simplicity and bold hero images are used to create an easy viewing experience that can scale down efficiently for mobile.

Read my report for the City of Calabasas’ RFP here.

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