The SEC.gov website and Information Architecture

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When reviewing the Security and Exchange Commission's website (SEC.gov), I found that the site could have better information architecture. Generally, the site does a pretty decent job of creating effective pathways to reach information. What I am looking to amend is establishing the home-page as more of a center point and welcome screen linking to additional pages per the individual user. Right now the home-page is acting as an index page, containing links to everything on the site. In my opinion it is throwing too much information at the respective user at once. I want to simplify the site by having the user on the home-page click a box establishing what type of user they are. Is the person a financial representative or general consumer? When creating the hierarchy for the site this will be second on the hierarchy chart.

Currently the SEC's website follows a weblike organizational structure per the Web Style Guide located at the following address:
http://webstyleguide.com/wsg3/3-information-architecture/3-site-structure.html

As explained, this type of style and associative organizational schemes are "often the most impractical structure for web sites because they are so hard for the user to understand and predict." I want to develop the site into a more complex hierarchy, that the directed user can more easily navigate. At the same time filtering out some of the unneeded informational noise that is being thrown at the user.

1 Comment

Hi Dan,

I agree with your assessment here. Two ideas: (1) It sounds like you want to make use of Redish's idea of "path pages" (see chapter 5). She suggests a home page + path page + information page. That would be a fine approach. (2) You also might want to think about a "hierarchical" site map structure for your site, with large categories of information that each follow a hierarchy of links. Would that hierarchical structure work?

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This page contains a single entry by henne175 published on April 5, 2010 1:23 AM.

The State of SEC.GOV and the Use of Headings, Illustrations, and Link Names was the previous entry in this blog.

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