Classification schemes (and when to use them)

Classification schemes:

  • Alphabetic
  • Geography
  • Format
  • Organisational structure
  • Task
  • Audience
  • Subject/Topic

If appropriate

  • Mix up types at each level
  • Start with one type and use a different type at the next level.
  • Use more than one approach for your whole content set.

Donna Spencer: Classification schemes (and when to use them)

Task Categories for Governmental Sites

    Users that go to a governmental site have probably one of the following tasks in mind:

  • Understand a topic, policy etc. [subject] label alteratives: ‘Find out about’; ‘What is’; ‘How to?’
  • Find a library, leisure center, person etc. [place]
  • Report a fly tip, street damage etc [transaction]
  • Apply for a passport, planning permission etc. [transaction]
  • Calculate / Find out my eligibility, my contributions etc. [transaction]
  • Register for … [transaction]
  • Submit information about tax, newborn children, other … [transaction]
  • Pay for … [transaction]

Web headings

According to a Nielsen-study (2009), the first two words in a Web headline have a huge impact on whether or not people will click on a link.

    The best links in the study:

  • Used plain language
  • Were specific and clear
  • Used common words
  • Started with the essence of the message
  • Were action-oriented
    The worst links in the study:

  • Used bland, generic words
  • Used made-up words or terms
  • Started with after-dinner-speech-introduction language

Gerry McGovern: Writing Killer Web Headings and Links

User journeys as narratives: From theme to detailed information

Users can take very different journeys within the same domain and every user journey is a narrative in its own right. A consistent structure of the website and its different sections is key to meaningful journeys that are effective and satisfying. Top levels introduce the big idea first and offer choices to proceed. From every level, a journey can proceed horizontolly, i.e. to related aspects, or vertically, i.e. to subordinate levels that provide greater detail. As every level and branch provides a different perspective on the theme, user itineraries can potentially become very complex. For information heavy sites, consider providing tools that allow users “berry picking”, i.e. managing information collected over the course of the journey.

Content audit and content inventory

“Content inventory is a list of all the information contained in a web site, along with data that describes the information from several points of view, like target audience or location. Also known as a content analysis or content audit (…)

The main distinction between these two documents [content inventory and content audit] is the level of granularity. In essence, the distinction is how much of the site you describe. With an inventory, the intent is to capture and describe every piece of content on the site. A content audit captures and describes less, focussing perhaps on the main content areas of the site or the top two levels of navigation after the home page. An audit establishes a boundary around the scope of the investigation.”

From: Brown, Dan (2007), Communicating Design, Berkeley: New Riders, p.167