Problem: Sitemaps are really important but all too often get rushed as they don’t fit tidily into one person’s remit, unless you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated IA. It is easy for someone to design the sitemap to match their own ideas but often this might not suit real life users.
Solution: I owned the sitemap for Hayes and Jarvis and used a series of offline gorilla tests with colleagues and online tests with users to find the best fit for all.
Outcome: I was able to produce a sitemap that tested broadly well with a selection of users. Even though it is possible to alter the site structure easily in our CMS this hasn’t been needed. The sitemap hasn’t caused navigation issues in subsequent user testing.