Moving Towards Modular

first_imgIt can be a tough transition. “The challenge is creating a site that really anticipates and reflects the critical points in the workday of your community of readers,” says Alison Johns, vice president, e-media, business information group at Access Intelligence. “For example, my products, as they evolve out of monthly magazines and into daily Web sites, have never been news-led. We’ve focused our build-outs on appealing to our readers’ needs for how-to and tutorial information.”News is an easy target for publishers that desire a consistent level of content turnover, but in Johns’ case, news was not what users were looking for on her site, Studiodaily.com. “We did grow at first in the direction of news but realized that where we could offer the most to our community was by giving them rich media tutorials.”Content for Studiodaily.com has coalesced around what the users are interacting with the most. “The number-one destination on the site is the blog, not the news,” says Johns. “Now what we do is present the areas that we think will be the most engaging in the first scoop and that is still blogs, training and news.”Fluid NavigationCategories and taxonomy certainly matter, particularly since magazine publishers often cover markets that contain a variety of vertical niches. Forbes.com, for example, which has 15 million to 20 million uniques per month, has a navigation system crafted around nine main verticals, with a number of subcategories under each. Tracking visitor patterns helps determine what content users are interested in.“We’ll track on a very direct basis our high usage pages like the index pages for the channels and the home page for the site,” says Jim Spanfeller, president and CEO of Forbes.com. “And we certainly will look at page views per session, page views per unique, time per session, time per unique, and so on.”But some publishers are finding that a much more fluid presentation of content is gaining popularity among users. Particularly when content means anything from text to video to audio. “Navigation, when you used to design it, was set in stone,” says Johns. “But now there’s much more flexibility.”While you want to make sure that visitors can use multiple techniques to find what they’re looking for—navigation bars, search, related content, and others—relying on a rigid hierarchy may backfire. “A lot of us have a tendency to get carried away with the need for identifying a ton of content buckets on the site,” says Scott McKenzie, vice president and editorial director of Nielsen Business Media’s digital division. “But you’re actually doing a huge disservice to the audience. If you think about how you use sites that you visit every day you tend to do two things: You use the home page or you use search.”Accordingly, McKenzie is leading a redesign of most of Nielsen’s Web sites. Billboard.com, for example, now has a modular, three-column design that incorporates a variety of content types while still offering a tabbed navigation scheme across the top of the page.The home page displays a mix of every content type, giving users a variety of ways to interact with the site. It’s a strategy that’s particularly important for what’s essentially the gateway. “The home page is like a mini TOC,” says Eric Shanfelt, vice president of e-media at enthusiast publisher Aspire Media. “It’s giving you a preview into everything that’s going on in the site.”To illustrate, McKenzie’s redesign of Billboard.com brought video to the forefront, which used to be clicks away. “We had a lot of video content that we were producing and had it in a sub-navigation area and people were just not finding it. When we re-skinned, the video usage went up 300 percent.”Keep It in the FamilySo content types are blending under content categories, but they should also be accessible in standalone “media centers.” This is all part of giving users redundant methods of finding what they want. “Every piece of content really winds up being categorized in one of two ways,” says Shanfelt. “It’s defined by the kind of content it is and the category or categories in which it fits. So if I’m navigating by topic I’ll find it or if I’m navigating by type I’ll find it.”There’s also huge importance in arranging and attracting related content subjects, especially from the search function. “People are lazy. They don’t want to browse,” continues Shanfelt. “They want to search and bring up all the results. When I search, I’m not just looking for an article. Show me everything that you have that’s related to this question, whether it’s a forum thread, a video, an article, whatever.”Navigation used to reflect taxonomy but it doesn’t anymore, adds Johns. “Nor should it,” she says. “You need to have the ability to pull that information of what’s associated so people can go deeper into a particular topic.”So, when constructing, or even rebuilding, a site, what comes first—taxonomy or navigation? The taxonomy may come first, but navigation is not far behind, and often merges with it as the site build progresses. “I start with the database,” says Johns, referring to building the taxonomy into the CMS. “I start with what the community wants now and how we can differentiate from the competition. It’s about how you’re going to taxonomize the information your community needs and then how you prioritize it—what you float to the top and what you put off to the edges. You have to understand their needs and then you map that to your database and then map your navigation to that.”Web Site Architecture and Navigation: 6 Tips1. Start with the database (taxonomy) by focusing on what your users want, then build the navigation scheme on top of that. 2. Content categories should have their own mini-homepages, or information centers, where users have access to content associated to that one category. 3. If you’re rebuilding your site, examine the old site’s search logs. This will provide insight into not only what users are looking for, but the language they use. Categorize your content accordingly. 4. Don’t skimp on internal search functionality. You may have great content in a variety of formats, but if people can’t find it and link to related content, it’s useless. 5. Integrate all content types—video, audio, text, etc.—that belong to a certain category. Don’t isolate your video content on a video page, for example. 6. Weed out or de-emphasize short, one-off posts from search results. Users are typically looking for substantial content, not a two-sentence blog post that might have had value in its day, but no archival value. Site design and architecture changes almost as quickly as the Internet technology that drives it. As publishers work their way through site rebuilds, developers must keep a sharp lookout on the horizon for changing trends. When it comes to organizing content, however, publishers can all agree on two things (for now): There’s content type and content topic. No longer simply concerned with arranging text-based content, publishers have a buffet of multimedia assets that must be displayed and arranged—often under myriad vertical niches—in a way that facilitates the best user interaction and navigation. Trends are pointing toward simple, easy-to-use, modular architectures that blur the lines between content type—text, video, audio—while simultaneously corralling it into defined information centers.The Experience MattersThe first thing to recognize, says Jakob Nielsen, principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, a Web site design and usability consultancy, is that user needs are different online than they are in print. It’s an obvious distinction but one that forms the foundation of an online experience. “In print, people are very issue-oriented and it’s also a more immersive experience where they’ll sit and leaf through the whole issue,” adds Nielsen. “Online is the opposite. It’s much more goal-driven and solution-oriented.”Building a Web site’s information architecture springs from the way the audience will use it, and fundamentally, this originates from a need to solve a problem or answer a question. “That then begs the question of what the proper hierarchy should be,” says Nielsen. “There is no specific answer to that because it depends on the market but think of it from a problem perspective and try to structure it around answers to those problems.”last_img read more

Wilmington Youth Center To Hold Preview Night For 5th Graders On March 15

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Attention all 5th graders living in Wilmington!  Have you heard about the Wilmington Youth Center?  Are you curious as to what the 6th, 7th and 8th graders are doing?  Are you waiting anxiously until you become a member?The Youth Center Board invites you to a Preview Night on Friday, March 15, 2019, from 7pm to 9pm, to give you the opportunity to come by and check out the Center!  The Center is located in Villanova Hall (126 Middlesex Avenue), behind St. Thomas Church.The Youth Center offers a variety of activities, including:Board GamesJuke BoxFoosballPing PongBilliardsVideo Games for: PlayStation 3 / PlayStation II / WII / X-Box KinectVideo Arcade Room and Arcade-Style BasketballThrough the season, the Center sponsors craft nights, whiffle ball, and DJ dancesPizza, soda and candy are also available for purchase each weekThe Wilmington Youth Center has responsible adult supervision on duty from the time the Center opens until after the children have been picked-up. There is no registration fee for this “Preview Night.” Parents are asked to accompany their children in on this evening to leave a contact number with the Center. Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Youth Center To Hold Preview Night For 5th Graders On March 4In “Community”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Friday, March 15, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”WILMINGTON GIVES: Wilmington Youth Center Seeks Video Game DonationsIn “Community”last_img read more

Dhaka seeks Delhi help in cyclonebattered Oman

first_imgA picture taken on 26 May 2018, shows a car stuck in a flooded street in the southern city of Salalah as the country prepares for landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. Photo: AFPBangladesh has sought India’s support for rescuing its nationals if anybody is found in danger, after a powerful cyclone struck Oman’s Salalah city killing at least three people including a 12-year-old girl.India has sent its two rescue ships of its Navy to Oman.“I have talked to Indian state minister for external affairs MJ Akbar to help rescue Bangladeshis if anybody is affected by the cyclone,” state minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam said in a Facebook message.MJ Akbar assured his Bangladesh counterpart of providing support like they did while conducting rescue operation in Yemen, reports UNB.Shahriar said Bangladesh officials will go to the affected areas once Salalah airport resumes operation.Cyclone Mekunu caused flash flooding that tore away some roads and submerged others in Salalah, the country’s third-largest city, leaving drivers stranded, reports AP on Saturday.Strong winds knocked over street lights and ripped off roofs. The cyclone also struck neighbouring Yemen on Saturday.Fast-moving waters from the rain and storm surge flooded normally dry creek beds.Tourist beaches were littered with debris and foam from the Arabian Sea.Captain Tarek al-Shanfari of Royal Oman police said the 12-year-old girl had been hit in the head by a door torn off by the wind.An Asian person died in a flooded valley and an Omani national in a 4×4 was killed when his vehicle was swept away, Shanfari said.Shahriar Alam said many Bangladesh nationals remain engaged in fishing in sea.Bangladesh mission is in touch with other missions and authorities in Oman to get updated information.Shahriar Alam hoped that there would not be many casualties as they were given alarm beforehand.He urged all to keep Bangladesh nationals living in Salalah in their prayers.Yemeni officials also reported damage in the east of the country along the border with Oman, reports AP.Rageh Bakrit, the governor of al-Mahra province, said strong winds had destroyed houses and taken out communication lines and water services.He said there were no deaths in the province.India’s meteorological department described the cyclone as “extremely severe”, with sustained winds of about 110mph (177km/h).Parts of Salalah, a city of about 200,000 people, lost power as the cyclone made landfall.The airport, which has been closed since Thursday, will reopen early on Sunday, Oman’s civil aviation authority said.Salalah’s port is a key gateway for the country.Salalah and the surrounding area received nearly 11in (278mm) of rain, nearly three times its annual amount.last_img read more