The next step to develop the information architecture is to build a site map. A site map is a visual representation of a website - outlining the site pages that different content items will go and the relationship between these pages. Site maps are not concerned with the layout or organization of the content on each page, rather just what content goes where.

Analyze Research

The first step to building a site map is to analyze and consult the usability research you have conducted. The card sorting exercise should give you an idea of commonly grouped content items, as well as commonly used labels.

Identify a Format

Then, identify a format to develop and communicate the site map that is accessible and understandable to the design team. Common tools to develop a site map are design programs such as Miro and Figma.

Establish a Structure

The next step is to establish the structure of the content. Start with the home page as the root. Using analysis from the card sorting task, group content items together. Then, categorize those groups and label them accordingly. These categories will become the second level of your site map, defining the pages on your site with the highest priority.

Make sure every item in the map has a reference number (according to the hierarchy of elements) and a meaningful label to easily identify and process it

Site maps allow a design team to document the information architecture without having to build out wireframes or a high fidelity prototype.


Take a look at the given site map for the Codecademy Resources tab. Codecademy is now adding a page called Testimonials, to share the success stories and experiences of past users. Where would you add the page on this site map?

Check Answer

This page would most likely be under the Inspiration branch!

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