Site structure and navigation

Before you start building up your website in mono, you should think about how you will structure the site. What kind of content do you want? How many pages will you need to cover your content? And where should these different pages be in relation to one another?

A good way to get an overview of this process is to draw or sketch out your site. Just take a pad and pencil and start from the beginning drawing the various pages you imagine and what kind of content they’ll hold. Once you have all the pages, layout the pieces of paper out on a table (or hang them up on a board) and begin to move them around in a hierarchy of how you think the different pages should be structured. Remember, though! You should always have your users in mind.

Professional web agencies actually use the same method when they’re trying to create structure and page content for the websites they’re developing and producing for clients. It’s a very effective way to get your website built up correctly from the start.

Navigation

There are two types of navigation in mono. The first is a horizontal navigation placed across the top of your site. This navigation has two levels. Horizontal navigation best with a few main menu headers as the space is limited by the width of the site. The secondary level navigation can be used further help break down navigation of the site and is good for main section pages or very visual pages.

The second type of navigation type is vertical, left-hand navigation. This navigation is great for sections that contain many inner pages, for example product pages, articles, etc. With this left hand navigation, you can have an unlimited amount of pages in up to 5 levels.

Here (above left) you see a simple build out of a website structure and how (above right) how it corresponds to website navigation on the actual site.

Keep it simple...

When you make your website, you need to think about your ideal user/customer. Remember that the typical user is likely as busy as you are. Therefore it is important to be concise and give them the information they need quickly which relies heavily on site structure. Be careful not to over inform or make your site too big if it’s not necessary.