April 28th, 2009
If you’re like me, (and hopefully you’re not,) you have books and magazines scattered all over your house. For reasons I can’t completely explain, I always want reading material in arms reach, so I’ve haphazardly distributed my library in every possible room. There’s even reading material in the bathroom.
(I once bumped into the editor of my favorite magazine and told him his publication lived on the back of my toilet. His response? “That’s the highest praise you can ever give a magazine editor! Thank you! You’ve made my day.”)
While it’s great to always have something to read nearby, finding a specific item is close to impossible. There’s no order or organization that even comes close to making anything easy to find. Not ideal for someone who has made their living helping people create usable information resources, eh?
Now, imagine if every other asset in the house (such as clothing, dishes, or financial records) was equally as randomly distributed. The house would grind to a halt.
Yet many organizations find themselves almost in that situation daily. Every week, we hear from clients who have Intranets where every user complains how hard it is to find the things they need to do their job.
Enter the taxonomy. Once you start to organize the information, you need to identify the right way to classify and store that information. And taxonomies go well beyond just the categories on a web site. Done well, they become a tool that you can use repeatedly to structure and optimize almost every business practice.
In today’s UIEtips, we have an article about one such application: using a taxonomy to create faceted navigation. Stephanie Lemieux,from Earley & Associates, shares her tips on what facets are and how teams can implement them effectively. If you’ve been wondering about this guided approach to navigation, this article is a must read.
By the way, we’re very excited about Stephanie Lemieux and Seth Earley’s upcoming UIE Virtual Seminar, New Ways to Think About Taxonomy: The Role of Taxonomies in Your Organization. This is our first seminar on this critical topic — a must for anyone who needs to improve the way their business is managing their critical information assets. Space is limited so register early for the May 7 seminar.
Have you implemented faceted navigation in your web site? What challenges did you run into? Share your experiences below.Tweet