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Sitemapping

We've been surprised to discover how infrequently sitemaps are actually part of web development workflow. At conference after conference, year after year, the audience is asked, “How many of you create sitemaps for your projects?” Out of 800 people, a whopping 20 or 30 raise their hands. “How many of you are using a sitemapping program?” About half of those hands go down. “How many of you are using a program you like?” All hands go down.

This is unfortunate because a sitemap is important. It is the backbone on which the project stands ([4.2], [4.3], and [4.4]). A sitemap shows a visual representation of the site's structure, organization, flow, and grouping of content and information. It communicates, it defines, and it structures. It is a representation of the entire project, from a broad vantage point to many of the most minute of details. It is a chance to view the site structure and organization as a whole. And while a content outline can be (should be) very detailed, it does not provide a sense of flow from a user standpoint.


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