The website and Information Architecture

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When reviewing the Security and Exchange Commission's website (, 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:

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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