The Internet architecture standard governs how web pages are labelled and where they reside in the information architecture of UQ websites within the One UQ Digital Presence. 

It falls under the overarching Digital Presence Procedure.

What is information architecture? 

The purpose of Information architecture (IA) is how users access information, this refers to the content structure, location, and labels used within a website or websites. This is often visible to a user in the URL or breadcrumb. 

For example:

Study > Programs > Bachelor of Agribusiness 

study.uq.edu.au/programs/bachelor-agribusiness-2007 

While some navigation may mirror parts of the IA, navigation is not the same thing. 

IA may also include search, such as filters and preferencing of results. 

Good information architecture: 

  • helps users build a mental model of where information can be found in a website 
  • makes it easy for people to recover if they take a wrong path 
  • needs to be managed as content evolves and user needs change. 

Guiding principles 

Fundamentally, information architecture should: 

  • be built around user needs – that is, using labels and groupings that make sense to the audience 
  • this means not built around UQ organisational structures 
  • make sense to a majority 
  • prioritise user top tasks and content that aligns with strategic objectives 
  • be as simple (smallest number of groupings) as possible, but as big as needed 
  • Less choices helps people choose. 
  • structure information about different topics at semantically parallel levels (see ‘UQ web presence structure’ below) 
  • allow users to understand the structure and navigate around regardless of their entry point  
  • be managed as a whole (One UQ Digital Experience), including being designed to scale in future 
  • not duplicate content in different locations  
  • be monitored and adjusted over time. 

Labels and naming 

Labels must be: 

  • Meaningful: Labels must represent an accurate description of what the item leads to. 
  • Succinct: Don’t say more than necessary. 
  • Comprehensive: Make sure the label encompasses all (or the majority of) the content within the corresponding section. 
  • Recognisable: Use terms that are familiar to your users. 
  • Front-loaded: Put the most important text first for easy scan-ability. Create an information scent to encourage users to read on. 

UQ web presence structure 

UQ’s digital presence is organised as a hierarchy. Information found at similar depths in the IA should have a corresponding level of detail. This is a general principle – this structure should not be forced if the content doesn’t warrant it. 

Example pageLevel
Home page (uq.edu.au) Level 0 
Study Level 1 (Site)
Browse study areas Level 2 (Theme) 
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Level 3 (Category) 
Bachelor of Arts Level 4 (Topic/Task) 

Internal vs external audiences 

The location of content first depends on whether the primary audience is internal or external. Some content will be relevant to both audiences (e.g. postgraduate program overviews or scholarships).  

In these cases, we consider: 

  • Could the content be split between different locations without duplicating?  
  • In the case of postgrad program overviews – no, this cannot be split. 
  • In the case of separating HR policies from practical work processes – yes, this can be split. 
  • Does it make semantic sense to keep it all together? (Would it cause confusion by separating?) 
  • In the case of scholarships (some for current students, some for future students, some for both) – yes, this should be kept together. 
  • In the case of organisational ‘about’ content (e.g. strategic plan, org chart and annual report) and internal service offerings (e.g. recruitment support) – no, this doesn’t need to be kept together.  

External content  

This is content that must be available for users who are not currently staff or students.  

Examples include: 

  • Program overviews 
  • Accommodation content 
  • Areas of research 
  • Events, etc. 

External content belongs on one of the top-level sites, as part of the One UQ Digital Experience. 

Internal content 

Internal content is any content that is only necessary for current staff and students. 

Examples include: 

  • specific work procedures 
  • support using university systems 
  • mandatory HR training, etc. 

This content belongs on the intranet. 

Internal–external journeys

There are cases where related content will need to be split between the web and intranet. In these cases, primary homes for topics are decided using the principles above, and cross links between web and intranet are included to support user journeys. As always, content should not be duplicated, just placed in its best-fit home and cross linked. 

Web channel information architecture (external) 

The One UQ Web Experience has defined top-level sites that are mandated for certain audiences and types of content. They are: 

  • Study – information for prospective students, parents, career advisors, and international agents necessary to understand the learning and living environment at UQ. 
  • Research – information for external researchers, prospective research students, participants and anyone wanting to understand the research UQ does 
  • Partners and community – information for alumni, external organisations who want to engage or partner with us, and other community members who want to access UQ services 
  • About – information for external audiences relating to the university’s identity, governance structure, and presence. 

Current top-level web navigation 

The navigation has been determined through extensive research and customer testing. The actual content is published on the most suitable site, determined by the principles above. Content may sometimes be linked from more than one place in the nav, but must be published in one place only. 

Intranet channel information architecture (internal) 

We're working on a new intranet

UQ is currently developing plans, procedures and governance for intranet as part of the Digital Environment/my.UQ (DEMU) program. We'll publish more information for intranet here as the program continues.

The intranet channel is organised into three tiers which are governed and managed to support their purpose: 

  1. UQ-wide intranet – contains information, services and support applicable to students and staff across UQ. Access is restricted to UQ students and staff, and some content may be further restricted as needed.

  2. Org unit intranet – contains information, services and support for staff within a specific organisational unit such as a faculty, school, portfolio or division. Access is restricted to the relevant org unit staff.

  3. Teams collaboration spaces – a collaboration space where all members of a Microsoft Team can create and modify content. Access is restricted to members of the Team.

The information architecture for each tier, and the intranet as whole, will follow the guiding principles for information architecture.

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact the Digital Governance team.

Have feedback?

We're accepting feedback on the Digital Presence Procedure, Web addresses standard or Information architecture standard until 31July 2022

Email us at digital-governance@uq.edu.au to submit your feedback.