Berkeley Law On the Web

Archive for April, 2008

Navigating the new web site

In a web site redesign, people are understandably anxious to see how the new site will look. But just as you can’t build a house without architectural plans and blueprints, you can’t really build a complex web site until you map out the site navigation, or information architecture.

This week, we came up with the top-level links that will live on the home page. These are what I call penciled in stone, meaning they may change a little, but hopefully not much.

Here’s how it looks:

Main top-level links:
About Us
Our Faculty
Alumni Network
Berkeley Life

Secondary links:
For Students
For Faculty and Staff
For Employers

One of the key concepts here is that we are segregating content that is mostly relevant to prospective students and outsiders from the utilitarian content for our internal community. Many educational institutions create navigation schemes that co-mingle this content, ending up with vague links for “students’’ and “faculty’’ that don’t make clear who is the intended user. We want to avoid that and get people to their content more quickly.

We’ve also added a Berkeley Life link because one of the features that distinguishes us from other law schools is the engagement and vibrancy at the school itself and the amazing geography and social community in which the school is located. While talking with many students who came here from other parts of the country, we heard that we should be touting our wonderful location in the Bay Area more.

You’ll also notice a new Calendar link. The implication is that we will soon have a more comprehensive centralized web calendar for the whole school, something many commenters on this blog asked about. Rest assured we are working on that.

Soon, White Whale will give us some designs to look at, which we’ll try to share here.

That’s all for now.