Making Sense of Any Mess

Jared Spool

August 31st, 2017

Making Sense of Any Mess

We’ve seen the following words sprouting across interfaces before, sometimes across a single website: Become a Member! Partner With Us! Join Us! Get Involved! Volunteer! Make a Gift! Donate!

What is the distinction between a member and a partner, getting involved and volunteering, gifting and donating? It’s not uncommon for businesses to approach language organically, often using different words to mean the same thing.

Duplicative language can bloom easily within an organization across marketing materials, customer service, organizational silos, and eventually into the website’s information architecture. It goes without saying that lack of clarity in language is confusing to customers.

Shout out to the information architects out there, piecing through all that language.

Information architects need to get into semantic discussions with stakeholders and teams, to bring them together to find a shared vocabulary to describe what they do. The goal is for customers to know exactly what a business means when it says something. It’s easier said than done, but Abby Covert has tips on how to facilitate those messy discussions collaboratively and effectively.

Stop Confusion and End Frustration

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