The information architecture is the founding structure of the Old Dominion University website. It shows where content lives within the website, provides context for site content and affords a high-level view of the website and how it is organized. The Information Architecture Committee designed our information architecture to be solid, yet flexible. This allows the University Web Team to group topics and related content together within the site structure and provides the flexibility to readily evaluate new content and establish its placement within the architecture.
Foundations of ODU's Information Architecture
Users are at the core of our information architecture. The Information Architecture Committee is charged with removing themselves from their positions at the University and placing themselves in the shoes of our website visitors, particularly those who have never been to Old Dominion University before. Where would they expect to find information? What information would they expect to be grouped together? What terms would they use to find the information?
There are two primary goals of our information architecture:
- Focus on users - Users who are not familiar with Old Dominion University, its processes, how it functions and how it is organized should be able to find and identify content. Users should be able to find all relevant information in one place, rather than piecing it together from a patchwork of different pages and sites.
- Focus on browseability - Users should be able to start at our home page and reach any desired content by drilling down into the site (browsing). If users are encouraged to browse, this allows us to tell them the story of Old Dominion University!
Changing ODU's Information Architecture
The University Web Team is responsible for the maintenance, protection and growth of ODU's information architecture. The ODU website will and should continue to grow and this growth may sometimes necessitate a change in the information architecture. Changes include moving subsections or areas of content to new areas of the site, creating new subsections and renaming subsections or areas of content. The following describes the official process for changing the information architecture:
- Any request to change the information architecture must be made via email to the Director of Web & Digital Strategy. The request must contain the following:
- Site subsection or area of content in question
- Proposed new location or new name
- If proposing a new subsection or area of content, the request must contain an overview of the content that will appear in it
- Reasoning or justification for the change
- The Web Director may request additional information or present information to the requestor for consideration.
- The Web Director will address the change request with the University Web Team for consideration.
- The University Web Team will make a recommendation.
- For substantial moves or moves that may have a significant impact on the University brand, the Web Director will address the change request with the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communication & Marketing, who may support the recommendation or alter the recommendation.
- The Web Director will deliver the recommendation to the change requestor and the Web Communication team will take action on the recommendation.
If a change request is denied, the requestor may submit a second consideration to the Director of Web & Digital Strategy who will take the request with the additional information to the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communication & Marketing. The joint decision of the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communication & Marketing and the Director of Web & Digital Strategy is binding.