Information Architecture

This documentation describes conceptual considerations for the information architecture of the higher education package. This is a “guideline” for the structure of the main menu and adding content.

Handling and Structure of the Menu Overlay

By clicking on the central “menu” button, the menu area is displayed in an overlay.

This layer is divided into two equally sized areas:

On the left-hand side is the logo and the navigation, on the right-hand side there is an area-related key visual element and the “close” button. The “close” button is keeping the position of the “menu” button.

To increase the focus on the essential information on the left-hand side, this area is coloured (primary-color), so logo and menu colours are used inverted as a consequence (depending on the colour concept, this may be handled differently.)

Operation of the Main Menu and the Way to the Information

1st Menu level

As soon as the layer is opened, the navigation items of the first level are displayed below each other. The vertical alignment provides more flexibility in the number of menu items. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to use too many menu items because - depending on the device - scrolling can be necessary to see all menu items. These menu level is only for structuring and therefore can’t be clicked and it won’t reload the page (unless the page does not have any subpages).

2nd Menu level

By clicking a main menu item, the corresponding subitems are displayed on the right-hand side, also ordered below each other. The number of items is also flexible. By clicking on a subitem the corresponding page will be loaded.

More menu levels

Pages further down in the page hierarchy can be accessed by a so-called “submenu”. This menu is integrated in a page layout, that means every page with the “Page with submenu” layout displays a auto-generated submenu. Theoretically unlimited levels of pages and subpages are possible using this page template.

Keyvisual

A content-enhancing keyvisual element can be used to illustrate the menu in the right-end area. It can be set independently for different areas of the website (using the page properties).

Conclusion

We have consciously decided on a concept with only two navigation levels for the main menu to keep access to the information as target-oriented as possible.

The main template is also very flexible this way and is not depending on the number of navigation items.

It is known that a few menu items can be placed wonderfully next to each other but there is a limit to the expandability. As soon as items are added, the design is often no longer working and the clarity is suffering .

Content concept

Page Layouts

The TYPO3 backend layouts are used to structure the content on a page (see Page Layouts). Editors can use different columns to structure their content. If a row of columns is not used, it’s not displayed in the frontend, so no “empty areas” show up.

Since the design of your website will probably differ from the design of the higher education default template, you will most likely want to add your own page layouts with your custom areas where content elements can be placed. It’s always a good idea to have a look at the configuration files provided by the higher education package itself, in this case you find the page layouts in the folder Configuration/PageTS/BackendLayouts/.

Content Elements

In order to create content on the website, different content elements are provided by the higher education package. These are eg. headers, texts and images, see Content Elements.

Each content element does have its own dedicated template which is typically at a very low complexity level. So if you want to customize a certain content element as an integrator without overwriting all the content elements that can easily be done. That allows you to update the higher education package to new versions in the future and if content element templates change, you will only have to adapt those templates you adopted in your custom sitepackage. Integrators can also add their own content elements if they wish.

(as a developer see Content Elements)

Plugins

Plugins provide more advanced functions and generate content, too:

  • Videos (Youtube and Vimeo)
  • Person database (if feature is activated)
  • News (if feature is activated and extension “news” is installed)
  • Menu elements (eg. menu of subpages, menu of content elements on a page)
  • Form elements
  • Search / Faceted Lists Plugin (if feature is activated and extension “ke_search” is activated)