Category Archives: Labelling

Using a Web Content Matrix

A web content matrix can be an immensely useful in tracking your content. Before you create one, you need to decide what information you are going to record on it. Having too much information will make the document unwieldy and time-consuming, perhaps leading to its abandonment. Having too little information can lead to the excel content matrix not fulfilling its potential.

So how do you know what to include?

Creating a web content matrix

You need to make some decisions before you start.

  • How long is the website going to exist for? A typical website may last 3 years before being rebuilt.
  • What information will be useful for you to have in that time period before the website gets rebuilt? Some information will change regularly and some will be static (such as URLS). Having these all in one place can save you a lot of time.
  • Who is going to use it? If this is just for one person (yourself) then you can be quite flexible (e.g. “I know that information is a little old but I don’t need to spend time updating it right now”). If it will be used by multiple people then it needs to be clear what is on it and how accurate it is.

Having a lot of information (such as photo URLs used) that change a lot make the content matrix very difficult to maintain, and you may be better off leaving them out.

The Cycle Ireland Content Matrix

I have 100 routes on the cycleireland.ie site, with 200+ pages, so I wanted all of the information that I would regularly refer to in one place. I used the following columns in my content matrix:

  • Route ID
  • Short name (used on the app)
  • Main image
  • Video URL
  • GPX filename
  • Distance
  • Climbing
  • Difficulty
  • Rating
  • Long name (used on the site)
  • Directions page URL
  • Area
  • Type (linear or loop)
  • Status (on the free or paid app)
  • Central co-ordinate (used by the app)
  • Number of photos in gallery
  • Word count
  • Start town
  • Finish town
  • Published date
  • Keyword

This matrix gave an an overview of the site in a number of important ways. A couple of columns – number of photos and word count – were not updated when changed but still gave a rough overview. If I needed accurate figures for these I could update them at any time. Others, such as rating, occasionally changed and the matrix was updated in tandem. The most important thing is that I understood what was accurate and what was estimated, which is easy to show in a spreadsheet, however you choose to do it.

What about large sites?

This web content matrix was for a small site. If you have a much larger one you need to decide for yourself what is important and how deep to go. Nobody else can make that decision for you. It is a good idea as you are starting off to quickly create a simple matrix and then add to it as you find yourself requiring information.

In this way you don’t need to make a huge blind commitment that you may later regret.

How to label a Buy button

I have been working on a retail site and the issue of how to label the Buy button cam e up. Different possibilities have different connotations:

  • Buy – blunt
  • Add to cart – impersonal
  • Purchase – too formal
  • Buy now – too bossy

To complicate matters the site is not traditional in that it sells high-ticket items that people are unlikely to buy more than one of.  That makes the concept of a virtual shopping basket less appropriate than it might be on other sites.

I wanted to check out the labelling that big retailers use to get a pointer on this.

  • Wiggle – add to basket
  • Asos – add to bag
  • Amazon – add to basket
  • Fashionphile – add to bag
  • Chain reaction Cycles – add to basket
  • Yoogis closet – add to shopping bag
  • Harvey Norman – add to cart
  • Pixmania – add to basket

We have 4 “Add to basket”, 2 “Add to bag”, 1 “Ad to cart” and 1 “Add to shopping bag”.

I want my terminology to be consistent with what people are use to, so I will use the phrase “Add to…” on the button. But add to what? I don’t want to use “bag,” as handbags are what the site primarily sells. If they were one of twenty product types it would be ok, but they are the primary one. So that’s out. That leaves “basket”or “cart”.

I think “basket” is the less harsh and more modern of the two, so that’s the one to go for.  We can test it at a later point if we don’t like the conversion rates.

 

Website footer – less is more

In recent times there has been an increase in website footers that are packed with links that take you all over the site. They have so many links that it becomes very difficult to actually find the one that you want.

You can have 40, 50 links or even more across several columns. Some people don’t recognize when they reach the point of diminishing returns. The footer is not a dump. It is a place to show miscellaneous but necessary links. The exact links to show will depend on the type of site that you run.

As a rule, if the link would only be required by a specific type of user (as opposed to general users), it is a good candidate for the footer.

Keep it simple. Combine pages where it makes sense. If you do have a lot of links, keep the names of them as short as possible to save your users’ time while they scan the footer looking for the one that they want.

 

Contact us and About us – merge them

This is a pretty good way to save spave on your site when you have only one set of contact details. It is particularly useful when you have a long homepage. Your contact details should be on your footer without your visitor having to click in to another page, but if you have a lot of blogposts on your homepage you don’t want them to have to scroll all the way down to view them.

Contact / About

Contact / About

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