Skip to main content

Content Organization

There are three basic ways to display digital content.

In addition to being well-organized, good digital content uses an appropriate voice and tone. View Illinois State's voice and tone guidelines to learn more.

Categorical

Categorical divides your content from most relevant to least relevant according to your audience's goals.

This is the preferred way to organize content on most Illinois State websites. Organizing content in a categorical way ensures your audience can find what they need quickly. It also organizes your content in a way that is easily consumable.

To understand your audience's preferences, figure out their mission: why they are coming to your website, what they want to know, and what they need to know.

The answer to these questions guides you on how to organize your content.

Basic Categorical Outline

Categorical content organization looks like a pyramid.

Main Point

Give your audience what they want or need to know at the beginning. If this is all the audience reads, they should have everything need.

Relevant Info

Add extra information that is relevant to the topic. This information is nice to know and somewhat helpful, but is not pertinent.

Rest of the Details

The least important and least relevant content should come last. Most of your audience will leave after they have what they need. Few if any will read all the content on your page.

Categorical Example

Let's say you're trying to get people to come to your musical, Wicked.

Advertising would likely include:

  • Name of the musical
  • A description of the musical
  • Show days and times
  • How much a ticket costs
  • Information about the cast and production team

We want to put the most helpful information first, followed by the rest of the details.

The most important information people need and want to know is:

  • The name of the musical
  • A brief description
  • When it runs
  • Cost

Everything else comes after.

Main Point

Community Players Presents: Wicked

Learn how the Wicked Witch of the West came to be in this story of friendship and misunderstanding.

Performances
March 6: Noon
March 7: 3p
March 8: 7p

Tickets
$25 for General Public
$15 for Seniors and Students

Order your tickets online

Relevant Info

Overview

Wicked is a Broadway musical by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, itself a retelling of the classic 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film The Wizard of Oz.

The musical is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz; its plot begins before and continues after Dorothy Gale arrives in Oz from Kansas, and includes several references to the 1939 film and Baum's novel.

Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name later changes to Glinda the Good Witch), who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's private fall from grace.

Source: Wikipedia

The Rest of the Details

Cast

Jane Smith: Elpheba
Jane hails from New York University where she was in a record-breaking 17 plays. This is Jane's fourth time performing for Community Players. You may recognize her from Westside Story, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Sister Act. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with dog, Skipper, and binge-watching all things Netflix.

Mark Johnson: The Wizard
This is Mark's first time appearing on stage and it certainly won't be his last. Mark caught the acting bug when he saw The Sound of Music in spring 2019. Mark and his wife Deb enjoy traveling and eating at all the delicious restaurants around Bloomington-Normal.

Katie Williams: Glinda
Katie is no stranger to the stage. She's been acting since she could talk. After studying theatre at Illinois State, Katie knew she could make a career out of this. She's not sure how many Community Player shows this is (12 maybe?), but this is by far her favorite performance.

Logical

Logical communicates an ordered process. It is often used when explaining how to do something or completing a task.

When to use on Illinois State websites:

  • Your audience needs to perform steps in a certain order to complete a task
  • You need to explain your information in a certain order for the audience to understand

Logical Example

Sticking with the musical Wicked, a logical content organization would be appropriate for explaining how to change your ticket date. You need to present the steps in the appropriate order.

Change Your Ticket

Contact our Box Office at (309) 555-2424 to change your ticket.

Make sure you have:

  • The original performance date
  • Seat number(s)
  • Name of the purchaser

Once you complete the process, check your email for an updated ticket.

Narrative

Wicked's overview is an appropriate place to write content in narrative form. The cast bios are written in narrative form as well. You're telling the story of the play and those who want to learn more about it can.

Narrative Example

Overview

Wicked is a Broadway musical by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, itself a retelling of the classic 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film The Wizard of Oz.

The musical is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz; its plot begins before and continues after Dorothy Gale arrives in Oz from Kansas, and includes several references to the 1939 film and Baum's novel.

Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name later changes to Glinda the Good Witch), who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's private fall from grace.

Source: Wikipedia

Cast

Jane Smith: Elpheba
Jane hails from New York University where she was in a record-breaking 17 plays. This is Jane's fourth time performing for Community Players. You may recognize her from Westside Story, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Sister Act. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with dog, Skipper, and binge-watching all things Netflix.

Mark Johnson: The Wizard
This is Mark's first time appearing on stage and it certainly won't be his last. Mark caught the acting bug when he saw The Sound of Music in spring 2019. Mark and his wife Deb enjoy traveling and eating at all the delicious restaurants around Bloomington-Normal.

Katie Williams: Glinda
Katie is no stranger to the stage. She's been acting since she could talk. After studying theatre at Illinois State, Katie knew she could make a career out of this. She's not sure how many Community Player shows this is (12 maybe?), but this is by far her favorite performance.