Chapter 7. Information Architecture: Organizing Your Wiki

The objective of information architects is to make information easy to find. They do this in two ways. The first way is by organizing a site, usually in a hierarchical fashion, and using that organizational structure to create a system of navigation that enables users to drill down into the content by following links. The second way is through search engines. Wikis are organized differently than other websites, and in this chapter you will learn how to organize your content on MediaWiki so that users can quickly and easily find the information they are looking for.

How Users Find Information

Typical Wikipedia users find the page they are looking for by searching it by title. In effect, users are guessing the name of the article, because the default search is a title search, which, when found, takes the user directly to the page. Wiki pages can also be grouped into categories, which enables users to browse the site in order to find the content they are looking for.

Site Navigation

The default monotone skin provides a navigation box in the left column of the wiki. The links to the community portal, current events, help, and donations all link to pages that do not exist when the wiki is first set up. The other links, recent changes and random page, are links to special pages. You can either create the pages that are being linked to or you can remove them from the list. For now, it is worthwhile to take a look at the site navigation ...

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