Can a website map create a better user experience? UX Sitemap Guidelines | loop11 (2023)

While XML sitemaps are slowly becoming the standard for website development, UX sitemaps are relatively new. However, a UX sitemap is essential for UX designers and marketers as it allows them to better understand users, improve their website experience and bring companies closer to their business goals. It's a crucial element for implementation, whether you're coding a website from scratch or using landing page builders.

So what is a UX sitemap and how do you create one?Read this article to find the answers.

What is a UX sitemap?

A UX (user experience) sitemap is a diagram of the different pages included in your website or application. Its main purpose is to visualize the relationship between the served pages (URLs) or elements of the website. The UX sitemap plays an important role in the development of websites. It helps you improve website navigation and prevents you from missing important parts of your website architecture, providing better user experience. It also allows web owners to understand how users use and navigate their websites. For UX designers, a UX sitemap is an important planning tool that is especially needed in the early stages of the UX design process.

A UX sitemap is sometimes referred to as a content outline or information architecture (AI).

Image 01: Example of a UX sitemap

How is a UX sitemap different from an XML sitemap?

The term "sitemap" is primarily associated with the XML sitemap in the marketing industry. It is an XML format file that contains a list of the pages that make up the website. The file provides search bots such as Google (but also Yahoo, Bing and other search engines) with information about the structure of the website and gives instructions on which pages need to be checked by robots. In addition, information such as the last modification date of the page and the priority of a specific subpage for a search engine can be found in the XML sitemap.

Generating a sitemap as a file in XML format is intended to make it easier for search engine robots to process the page and properly index the page's content.

You can check your website xml sitemap with tools liketechnical site surveyby SE Ranking that checks the structure of your website and all its pages. If you don't have this file on your website, you can use this tool to generate it automatically.

(Video) SITEMAP MASTERCLASS: Planning a Site Map UI:UX Design for a Website

So how does an XML sitemap differ from a UX sitemap? Below are four main differences:

UX-SitemapMapa do site XML
main purposeShowing the relationship between individual pages on a web pageEnable search engine robots to check websites more efficiently
Date Formatcan be generated as an image fileXML
targetUser-Experience-Designersearch engine crawler
contentsall pages including login/non-public pagesPages to be indexed by search engines
meaningdetects errors that users may encounter, improves user experience, improves site navigationshows search engines the structure of the website to indicate which pages are essential and should be indexed. saves search engine crawler budget

Creating a UX sitemap is especially recommended for website owners with complex websites with multiple subpages. This helps improve your site's navigation, enhance your user experience, detect errors, and provide instructions for the team working on site design and development.

So when is the best time to create a UX sitemap? Well, it's best to do this early in the UX design process, right after the discovery phase. However, it's still worth it if you already have a website, especially if you plan to grow it further. But in this case, you should conduct a site audit before creating a new UX sitemap.

Would you like to learn how to create a UX sitemap? Here are 5 key steps you need to take to get the best results.

1. Start with good preparation

As with any business process, creating a sitemap requires good planning and preparation. First, you need to determine what information you want to make available to users and what role you want your website strategy to play. For example, if you run an online store, the main purpose of your website is probably to sell your products. If you write a blog, the purpose of the site can be subscription signups, or it can simply be a large readership. If you're running a website for a small business, the goal might be to make it easier for your potential customers to find important information about your business, encourage them to do business with you, and generate leads.

Depending on the purpose of your site, you may need to organize the information and guide the user through the site to get the desired result.

It helps if you choose the people responsible for creating the UX sitemap design during the planning process. It's a good time to share your ideas, vision and perspective and find a temporary solution to satisfy everyone involved.

2. Create a sitemap navigation

In the next step, create a draft for the site navigation. Start with the home page and then identify the pages that the user will jump to directly from there. These must belong to the second category. For example, second category pages are usually "About Us", "Contact Us", "Resources" or "Services", etc. For example, if you offer a tool with multiple resources and each has its own subpage, that is already a third category page (see picture 01).

Remember that your navigation should be as specific as possible and include all pages including "Privacy Policy" or "Terms".

It's also worth considering your website development plans and the pages you plan to implement. This makes it easier for you to design and plan placement of new website elements in the future.

At this stage it is worth using a UX tool such asloop11This provides usability analysis of your website with users performing real tasks. This allows you to better understand user behavior and how and why they use the website.

3. List parent and child pages

Remember to focus on convenience and a positive user experience when creating your navigation. Your website needs to be clear and easy to use and navigate. Make sure users can find what they're looking for and that they're in a location that brings them closer to the goal you set in the previous step.

(Video) Introduction and Tutorial to UX Sitemap: UI UX Design | Miro | 2021

How do you do that? Create a list of parent and child pages that is easy to navigate from a user perspective. Think about how to organize the site's architecture so that it looks as natural as possible. Focus on adding clear identifiers in the form of page titles and make sure there is a logical correlation between the main page and second-level pages, third-level pages, and so on. Any related content should be easy to find on the child pages that link to the parent page. Allow users to easily return to home pages. Top-level pages must contain sub-navigation or links to related content.

How do you organize your website content? The further down a page is in the diagram, the more detailed information it must contain. Imagine you're an online tool provider and you've just decided to create a page that describes a specific feature of one of your products. How should the navigation be? See the following order:

1. Home

2. Products

3. Product No. 1

4. Product #1 - Resources

5. Product specific feature #1

Image 02: Parent and child pages

Also, it's a good idea to plan your URL structure at this stage. For example, if you want to include a category in a URL, it might look likeähltes-produkt🇧🇷 However, do not create very long and complex URLs.

In this step, you can also add notes about the development details of each section. For example, you can add information about the purpose of each page and what type of content is placed there (e.g. videos, attachments, contact forms, maps, etc.). If you have additional instructions, it's worth adding them: the more information to visualize how your site works, the better.

These elements are essential and planning them will speed up future development and allow you to create a website perfectly tailored to the needs of your users.

4. Test multiple scenarios

As with all important business decisions, when navigating your website, you should run a series of tests to ensure you've chosen the best solution. Prepare different scenarios so your team can visualize and choose the best site structure for your users.

(Video) UX Design Project at CareerFoundry | Creating a Sitemap | Information Architecture

To do this, it's a good idea to create multiple user personas and design their journey through the site. Don't be afraid to experiment with different ways of grouping content to see which method meets your users' needs and gets you closer to your goal in Step 1. Sometimes every little detail can make a big difference.

Remember that everyone is different and may behave and move around a website differently. It's best to explore all possible trails and check every detail, even those that may not seem obvious to you.

Creating different scenarios is very important when planning your overall website design as it will help you create a structure that will give your website users the best experience.

5. Share the sitemap with your team

As mentioned above, every user is different and everyone may think differently. Therefore, when designing the sitemap of your website, you should show the result of your work to colleagues in the company. This can be marketers, web designers, content writers, development workers, etc.

It would be a good idea to involve people from different departments of the company in this process. They need to know different perspectives in order to confront and discuss with each other. It's also a good idea to involve people who don't work with the site every day, as they can gain a new perspective and be the voice of your potential users. Don't forget the leadership team. You must have a clear idea of ​​what you are going to do.


Creating a UX sitemap is not complicated, but it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare it well and provide the best possible user experience. Undoubtedly, it is an essential element for any business that can bring many long-term benefits to your business.

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Kelly Breland

Kelly Breland is Digital Marketing Manager atSE classificationwith experience in SEO, digital and content marketing. She's a persistent advocate for using content marketing to build a solid brand. In her free time, she enjoys gardening.

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