A site map – music to our ears

When Nightlife Music launched 30 years ago, with one client trialling the world’s first video jukebox to play in the corner of a Brisbane nightclub, the only need for a site map was to locate the next juke location.

Three decades on, Australia’s premier music and visual content provider for any business has grown to 4,500 clients, 120 staff and increasing demand from international brands.

We are proud of our 24/7 customer and tech support hub, and it will remain the backbone of the Nightlife service, but to support even further expansion, we are in the depths of an exciting in-house project to build a support website, which will give our customers instant access to video tutorials, guides, FAQs, troubleshooting information and more for our products.

Site maps ensure you start building a website with a good understanding of the categories of information, the volume of information, the types of media you want to use and the areas you want to prioritise.

Nightlife Product Manager James Lee is leading the campaign, so we asked him to share the details on how we’ve developed and honed 30 years of content to create the site.

What is a site map?

A site map defines the structure and scope of content you want to create, and it ensures what you create can be traced back to the goals you’re trying to achieve. Think of it like writing a book, where you plan what happens in every chapter so when you get to the end you can close the book without the need to re-write anything.

The importance of site mapping / Why create a site map?

Site maps ensure you start building a website with a good understanding of the categories of information, the volume of information, the types of media you want to use and the areas you want to prioritise. For example, when planning for our support website we knew we would need to include a troubleshooting and FAQ section.

Why did we need a site map?

As soon as we announced the project we got loads of feedback on content from across the business, as well as clients and we needed a way to filter this and structure it into logical categories that aligned with the objectives of our site.

We held a workshop to collate all the feedback and illustrate the site map. This helped us to visualise the hierarchy, identify gaps and highlight related pages. We also found it was an effective way of communicating the content we wanted to publish to the executive team.

An early example of our support website sitemap.

What tools were used to develop it?

To digitise the whiteboarding exercise, you can use any program that can illustrate a hierarchy, from Excel to Visio to mind mapping tools like X-Mind.

Who benefits from a site map?

A lot of time can be saved further down the road if you have a solid understanding early on of the content you want to cover and include. It also helps to avoid scope creep or adding new content at the last minute.

How did it produce the right results?

The site map helped us decide to procure a Knowledge Base (KB) plugin for our site that made design a breeze and made it possible to work faster by biting off small chunks of content at a time knowing we were heading in the right direction.

What’s next?

We are now close to launching the website and I must say it’s looking great thanks in no small part to the team that successfully and skilfully navigated the site map.

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