I've just come out of a meeting where we discussed the organisation of content on our web site.
It's something that's needed reviewing, a load of content has been added without too much pausing for breath to decide how to organise it. One of the points was that in some places we have very long lists of nav options so we're looking to cut that down a bit with some sub-categories.
The web site is at http://www.somerseti...ligence.org.uk/ and the particular section of interest is the Health & Wellbeing section. This is an informational content site run by the public sector. It's job is to publish all sorts of stats and intelligence/insight about the people of a specific geographic area (Somerset) for use within the public sector but also for members of the public, voluntary sector and potentially private business as well. We cover the usual demographic type information but have also expanded a lot with a variety of pages covering a multitude of health issues.
At the moment if you go to the Health and Wellbeing page there is a very long list of pages within that section, some of which are parents to more pages as well.
There is a suggestion to reorganise this long list into about 5 sub-categories and each sub-category would contain individual pages only, there would not be more sub-sub-categories below them.
The question is, one of these 5 sub-categories is already likely to have a fairly long list of pages within it and the way we've traditionally set the web site up, all these pages would appear in the left hand nav. The suggestion is not to to do that and I'm pondering the usability impact of that.
I'm open to the idea, my only concern is that when say someone has gone from the home page --> Health & Wellbeing --> Conditions & Diseases (terminology may change) --> Mental Health and read the content we have there about mental health issues, in order to even know what else is in the Conditions & Diseases sub-category they would need to go back up a level of navigation.
This isn't like going from a list of products, looking at one individually and then going back to the list to find another one, it's hopefully, but not necessarily, consuming the content and then looking for more around the same idea. So if interested in Mental Health, there are also pages with information on autism for example.
I've started pondering ideas like 'related pages' or a more functional footer with better signposting to other content (though then we're talking larger changes to the functionality of the web site) but wondering what people may think of the above from a usability perspective.