HTML and CSS Reference
A diagram of the organization of a Web site is called a site map or storyboard . Creating the
site map is one of the initial steps in developing a Web site (more on this in Chapter 10).
Most Web sites use hierarchical organization . A site map for hierarchical organization,
such as the one shown in Figure 5.3, is characterized by a clearly defined home page
with links to major site sections. Web pages within sections are placed as needed.
It is important to be aware of pitfalls of hierarchical organization. Figure 5.4 shows a
site design that is too shallow—there are too many major site sections.
This site design
uses a shallow
This site design needs to be broken down into small, easily managed topics or units, a
process called chunking . In the case of Web page design, each unit of information is a
page. George A. Miller, a research psychologist for Princeton University's WorldNet
( http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/~wn/) found that humans can store only five to nine
chunks of information at a time in short-term memory (see http://www.nwlink.com/
~donclark/hrd/learning/memory.html). He called this the “seven plus or minus two”
principle. Following this principle, many Web designers try not to place more than nine
major navigation links on a page, unless they are creating a very large site. Even then,
they may try to chunk the navigation links into visually separate sections on the page
with each group having no more than nine links.