Michigan Tech Selected contributions from Michigan Technological University Tech Alive
  Tech Alive > Support Index > Create a Module - General Index > Conceptualize the Module
  About
  Series
  Services
  Support
  Contact

Tech Alive Support

Creating a Module - General: Conceptualize the Module

Review the Template Format

Building the module content requires some familiarity with the layout and navigation used in the template set. Review the sample modules of your Series type before beginning your module design. Keep your module goals in mind. Try to envision your finalized site as a new visitor would.

Navigation within modules varies. Navigation to each module from the main Tech Alive pages has already been designed for you.

Design on Paper

Instructional Type Modules
  1. Navigation: Since the navigation is sequential, only the page order needs to be established. Write a list of page titles as a sequence. Note the content type for each one, such as "paragraph and image", "paragraph alone", "paragraph and animation and small image", and so on.

  2. Layout: The Instructional Modules are meant to be viewed full screen with little or no vertical scrolling, similar to a PowerPoint presentation. For each page, create a rough diagram of the relative layout of elements if there are more than two. Use the existing 3 x 3 table layout as a start, and merge and split table elements to refine the layout. If a single page has a lot of content, consider splitting it into more than one page.
Overview Type Modules
  1. Navigation: Single page overviews don't require internal navigation. Overviews consisting of a few pages may have sequential navigation added ("Next" and "Previous" buttons), a short table of contents on each page, or links in context with the body of the main content.

  2. Layout: Overviews tended to be highly structured with very specific content fields. Review the content specifications before gathering your materials.
Traditional Website Type Modules
  1. Navigation: Traditional websites have main menus and submenus. The navigation is essentially hierarchical, with the start page "index.htm" at the top, the main menu pages as the first layer, and an arbitrary number of layers under each main menu page accessed with submenus. Cross-referencing can be done with links created in the main content of any page.

    • Decide if you want a fairly flat structure or one with many levels. Generally 2-3 levels are sufficient.
    • Draw a flowchart of your site navigation.
    • The main menu should be kept fairly general. Unless you want a long table of contents, keep the main menu general enough so that new pages fall naturally into the main menu categories.
    • Note: The structure of site navigation is completely unrelated to the location of web pages in a folder. All of your web pages can be in the same level of the folder, regardless of how they're accessed online.
    • Try to maintain consistency when creating subtitles on the pages in order to accurately reflect the page levels and relationships.
    • When creating submenus, remember that links can go to different pages or to different locations on the same page.

  2. Layout: The main content can have almost any layout of elements. A large number of small pages would require a lot of submenu navigation. A small number of long pages requires a lot of visitor scrolling, and content near the bottom of the page may get less attention. Try to balance the content to have a moderate amount of material and a reasonable number of related pages.

Return to Top