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Organizing Content5:35 with Dan Gorgone
One of the main components of information architecture is organization. How humans organize things helps them make sense of the world. How you organize information within a website or app will help your users make sense of it and ultimately determine their satisfaction.
- Hierarchy - a specific kind of content organization where broad categories are broken down into smaller categories and so on, creating a structure that can be displayed within a tiered navigation menu
- ESPN: http://espn.com
- Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/
- Fortnite: https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/
- Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/
- Mailchimp: https://developer.mailchimp.com/documentation/mailchimp/guides/
Let's talk about the key components of IA. 0:00 The first one we're gonna cover here is organization schemes and structures. 0:03 Organizing is a natural thing for human beings to do. 0:07 We need to make sense of the world around us so we're not living in constant chaos. 0:11 When you go to a grocery store or a local Target, 0:16 you'll see all the different foods and products in specific aisles or sections. 0:19 And there's a bunch of reasons why places organize their content in a specific way. 0:24 For the business, organization helps you figure out where to put things. 0:30 When things are created or when they arrive, you don't have to think about 0:35 where to put new stuff because the decision's already been made. 0:38 The video game section is here, the produce goes there, and so on. 0:42 For the customer, organization makes it easier for them to find things and 0:46 can make the experience much more positive. 0:50 And when customers are happy, you can bet they'll return and recommend it to others. 0:54 And organization also creates and expectation beyond that first visit. 0:59 That when they return, things will be organized in the same way, 1:04 that familiarity helps build trust. 1:08 Online, websites and apps have those same goals in mind. 1:12 They wanna organize their content logically so 1:15 they've got a place to put things. 1:18 But also, to make it easier for their users to locate what they want and 1:20 consume, buy, or share it. 1:24 So, there are multiple organization schemes and structures, or 1:27 ways to organize content, and you've probably seen examples. 1:31 First, there's category, or topic-based organization. 1:36 Just like a grocery or retail store, the content is grouped by category or 1:39 topic, which usually relates to the interest of the visitor, 1:44 as well as the main areas of focus for the business. 1:48 If you check out Kickstarter's website, you'll see the projects looking for 1:51 funding are grouped into specific categories, 1:55 music, arts, comics and illustration, and so on. 1:59 But some websites might organize their content by the format, blog post, 2:03 videos, FAQs, resources, and more. 2:09 You may see this kind of organization scheme when there's only 2:13 one topic on the site. 2:15 When you visit the Fortnite website, all the content is about one topic, the game. 2:18 So, they group everything based on the content type instead. 2:23 Sometimes it makes sense to organize your information using a hierarchy. 2:28 This is a specific kind of structure where the categories at the top are the most 2:32 broad. 2:37 Now as you drill down into subcategories, it gets more specific. 2:38 For example, Home Depot sells many products for home improvement and repair. 2:42 If you wanted to install window blinds in a new house, you might go to their website 2:48 and drill down through the hierarchy of categories to find what you need. 2:53 First, there's blinds and window treatments, then blinds is a little 2:57 more specific, and finally, faux wood blinds is most specific. 3:03 Organizing content using a hierarchy makes sense for a lot of sites, 3:09 and it's easy enough to do. 3:13 You start with a general category, get more specific with each step, and 3:15 the bottom level is your most specific grouping. 3:19 Organization like this is good if you have a lot of content that needs organizing. 3:22 A hierarchy creates a structure for users to navigate. 3:28 So if you don't have a lot of content to share, that structure might become 3:31 unnecessary, and may be all you really need is just a simple list. 3:36 Organizing information sequentially is a pretty straightforward option. 3:40 If information makes the most sense displayed in a specific order, 3:45 then you might choose to structure things that way. 3:49 For example, if you've built an Apper platform that requires a little on 3:51 boarding guidance, you might organize your help documentation by listing a getting 3:55 started group of content first. 4:00 That makes a lot of sense, and 4:03 then you'd list whatever would naturally come next for these users. 4:05 More introductory info, a definition of terms, or 4:09 perhaps creating your first project. 4:12 A sequential structure improves usability by considering the user's needs and 4:15 the likely order they'll be taking action. 4:20 Now another way you could structure things is very simple, just do it alphabetically. 4:24 But these days, it's difficult to think of a case when that makes the most sense. 4:29 The same goes for date-based scheme. 4:33 Structuring content alphabetically or by date could be done but 4:36 the question you need to ask is, should it be done? 4:40 Are there better ways you could structure content so the user could easily find it? 4:44 In the end, you may decide a hybrid approach works best, 4:49 where you use multiple schemes to organize things in a way that's logical and usable. 4:53 For example, a game development company might structure their website content 4:59 around the games they've created. 5:04 But, for the rest of their development blog, it's topic-based, so 5:07 people can find news on app updates, patches, future development, and more. 5:11 The types of schemes and structures you choose will depend on your users, and 5:18 their needs as well as the nature of your website or app. 5:23 The best way to group information is what will allow your users 5:27 to find what they need in the quickest and easiest way possible. 5:31
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