Whether you have an existing Science Gateway website or are creating your first one, this hands-on tutorial will show you, step by step, how to create and update gateway websites so that their content is easier to find and easier to use.
As a Science Gateway provides its web-based tools and resources, it is essential that these sites utilize specific usability tests and other research methods to ensure positive and productive experiences with the sites. Successful information architecture (IA), intuitive site navigation, and clear user interfaces (UIs) all rely on knowing where various users expect to find needed information.
Since many Science Gateway creators are educated as subject domain scientists (e.g. biological, chemical, physical, environmental, social, mathematical, and computer scientists), many are not likely to understand the importance of IA and site navigation, including the downstream dependence they have on search engine visibility and user engagement. Additionally, the information architecture and site navigation processes are iterative ones, requiring ongoing measurement, assessment, and updates.
To accomplish optimal findability (which includes the behaviors browsing, searching, and asking), creators of gateway websites should understand the information architecture vocabulary, different architecture research methods, and when to use each research method to determine the best ways to label and organize content.
Then, based on the data gathered from both qualitative data (desirability studies, interviews, diary studies, and so forth), and quantitative data (web analytics data for an existing website, search tools, performance-based usability tests, and so forth), gateway managers should create and maintain a navigation system that contains at least five types of navigation schemes.
If the navigation system of a gateway¹s site is effective, visitors will have positive user experience (UX), and search engines will be able to properly access a site¹s documents and prioritize its content. Ultimately, the site¹s IA and navigation system will lead to increased page views per visitor, a low bounce rate, and other conversions such as filling out and submitting forms, creating an account, logging in/out, downloading/uploading resources, and using gateway tools.