Taming taxonomy—a practical intro


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Slides from the talk I gave at UX Cambridge 2013 on 9/5/2013.

Churchill College, Cambridge UK.

Taming taxonomy—a practical intro

  1. 1. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 Taming Taxonomy Tips  &  tools  for  crea/ng  structure    with  the  user  in  mind alberta  soranzo  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013  –  Cambridge,  UK   photo: jessica duverneay/
  2. 2. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 TAXONOMY, NOT TAXIDERMY photo: ifish.net
  3. 3. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 YOU’RE IN LUCK
  5. 5. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 CLIENT
  6. 6. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 SIX SITES ONE PORTAL
  7. 7. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 SAY WHAT?
  8. 8. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 TAXONOMY Taxonomies  are  collec<ons  of  facets,  which  are   created  by  organizing  concepts  into  categories.
  9. 9. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 EXISTING TAXONOMY Categoriza<on  and  meaning How  users  consume  site  content How  users  find  content
  10. 10. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 NEW TAXONOMY System  of  categories  and  labels   Parent-­‐child  rela<onships Cross-­‐lis<ng  (poly-­‐hierarchy) Synonyms Governance
  11. 11. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THE PROBLEM
  12. 12. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THE PROBLEM
  13. 13. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THE PROBLEM NO CANDY?
  14. 14. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THE PROBLEM CHPR CHIS
  15. 15. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THE (MAIN) QUESTIONS Which  exact  words  should  be  used?   Where  do  they  go  in  rela<on  to  the  others?   Are  there  excep<ons?  
  16. 16. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WDTPBBS? •Categories  should  be  mutually   exclusive,  unless  they  are  poly-­‐ hierarchical.   •Consider  the  balance  breadth   and  depth,  erring  on  the  side   of  broad  and  shallow  for  new   sites. •Taxonomy  =  a  slow  layer,   while  naviga/on  may  be   slightly  faster
  17. 17. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 TAXONOMY MATRIX STRATEGY User Centered Business Centered SIZE Scalable Finite COVERAGE Comprehensive Section Specific APPLICATION Cross-channel Web-centric TIME  SENSITIVITY Aspirational Current METAPHOR Uniform/Exact Mixed Approach STRUCTURE Poly-hierarchical Mutually Exclusive LANGUAGE SEO Preferential Natural Branding Authoritative Concept:  Jessica  DuVerneay The  Understanding  Group
  18. 18. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 1. CURRENT TAXONOMY REVIEW CHPR CHIS
  19. 19. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 2. KEYWORD RESEARCH CHPR CHIS
  20. 20. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 3. USER RESEARCH John  Lu Leslie  Masterson Bob  SuFer Researcher Marketer Legislator Dr.  Lu,  a  postdoc  at  UCSF  is  performing  data   analysis  to  inform  his  research  on  the  the   correla/on  between  medical  costs,  early-­‐ onset  diabetes  and  residence  distance  from   parks.  He  has  billing  data  from  insurance   companies  that  he  can  link  to  geolocated   CHIS  data.  Before  he  submits  his  applica/on   for  analysis,  he  wants  to  create  a  table  of   childhood  diabetes  rate  in  areas  that  are   more  than  2  miles  away  from  a  park. Leslie  is  the  Northern  California  marke/ng   manager  for  a  small  producer  of  air  filters.   She  is  looking  to  market  her  product  to   consumers  and  industrial  air  condi/oning   installers  and  prefers  to  concentrate  her   ini/al  efforts  on  areas  where  air  quality   causes  asthma  and  other  respiratory   condi/ons. Bob  is  running  for  a  seat  in  the  California   legislature  and  the  focus  of  his  campaign  is   improving  health.  He  wants  to  understand   what  the  top  5  health  needs  within  his   legisla/ve  district  are.    Bob  has  no  sta/s/cs   background  but  understands  the  importance   of  data  and  wants  to  find  authorita/ve   informa/on  to  be  used  in  his  campaign   material. GOAL Create  map  to  prove  hypothesis GOAL Market  product  in  communi/es  affected  by   asthma  and  respiratory  condi/ons.   GOAL Priori/ze  solu/ons  for  his  cons/tuents. photo: flickr.com (j.spiridigliozzi, victor1558, niznoz)
  21. 21. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 4. TERM SORTING/AFFINITY DIAGRAMMING photo: christina tran
  22. 22. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 5. SEO/SME VALIDATION OPTIONS CHOICE Benefit  Package,  Work  Insurance,   Employee  Insurance,  Employee   Health  Plan Employment-­‐based  coverage Poor,  Indigent,  Impoverished,  Below   Federal  Poverty  Line Low-­‐income Handicapped,  Disabled,  Blinds,  Deaf   Persons,   Persons  with  disabiliMes
  23. 23. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 6. SYNONYMS & POLYHIERARCHY MANAGED  CARE DISABILITY  =    =   Medicare,  Health  Insurance,   Comprehensive  Medical  Insurance,   Group  Medical  Insurance,  Health  Plan,   Medicaid,  Medi-­‐cal,  Indian  Health   Services,  Healthy  Families Handicap,  Deficit,  Impairment,  Mental   Impairment,  Physical  Impairment,   Health  Problem,  Func/onal   Impairment,  Incapacity,  Ailment
  24. 24. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 RESULTING TAXONOMY
  25. 25. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 TAXONOMY. WHAT, HOW AND WHY WHAT  (DELIVERABLES) HOW  (USES) WHY  (GOALS) • Sitemap • Content  Inventory • Wireframes • Controlled  Vocabulary • Tags • Categories • Filters • URLs • Glossary • Naviga/on • Content  strategy • Findability • Organiza/on • Cross-­‐channel   Consistency • Governance • Understanding • Branding
  26. 26. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 SIX SITES ONE PORTAL
  27. 27. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 TAXONOMY VS NAVIGATION VS IA TAXONOMY Metadata (informa/on  about  informa/on)   NAVIGATION Wayfinding   (how  visitors  move  around) INFORMATION  ARCHITECTURE Structural  design  of  informa/on (informed  by  taxonomy,  helps  build   navigaMon)
  28. 28. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 CARD SORTING
  29. 29. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 TAXONOMY Taxonomies  are  collec<ons  of  facets,  which  are   created  by  organizing  concepts  into  categories.
  30. 30. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT IS CARD SORTING? Card  sor<ng  is  one  of  the  best  ways  to  idenMfy   categories  by  having  controlled  tests  with   groups  of  users  to  create  categories. source thetaxonomyblog.com
  31. 31. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHY USE CARD SORTING? •Input  into  informa<on  design  process •Define  overall  content  hierarchy  and  structure •Design  naviga<on,  menu  and  taxonomies •Outline  users’  mental  models source thetaxonomyblog.com
  32. 32. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 HOW DO YOU DO CARD SORTING? Par<cipants  organize  topics  into  categories  that   make  sense  to  them  and  may  also  help  label   these  groups. source flickr.com/photos/nedrichards/
  33. 33. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 OPEN CARD SORTING Par<cipants  organize  topics  into  groups  that   make  sense  to  them,  then  name  the  groups. source flickr.com/photos/nedrichards/
  34. 34. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 CLOSED CARD SORTING Par<cipants  organize  topics  into  predefined   groups. source flickr.com/photos/nedrichards/
  35. 35. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 DESIGN THE TEST •Create  list  of  content  topics.   •Prepare  the  cards. •Email  par<cipants  a  link  to  the  study. •Provide  instruc<ons  for  the  sort,  including   expected  length. •Thank  the  par<cipant  for  their  <me.
  36. 36. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 GRANULARITY •Individual  pages •Func<onality   •Small  groups  of  pages •Whole  sec<ons  of  the  site
  37. 37. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT USERS SEE - CARDS
  38. 38. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT USERS DO - PUT CARDS IN GROUPS
  39. 39. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT USERS DO - NAME GROUPS
  40. 40. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT YOU SEE - CARDS
  41. 41. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT YOU SEE - CATEGORIES
  42. 42. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT YOU SEE - SIMILARITY MATRIX
  43. 43. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT YOU SEE - STANDARDIZATION GRID
  44. 44. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT YOU SEE - DENDOGRAM
  45. 45. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT YOU SEE - DENDOGRAM
  46. 46. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT YOU SEE - PARTICIPANT CENTRIC ANALYSIS
  47. 47. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THE FUTURE Predictive Cognitive Semantic Analysis
  48. 48. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 PCSA Seamus  O’Leary,  PhD Queen’s  University Ins/tute  of  Cogni/on  and  Culture Belfast “Predic/ve  Cogni/ve  Seman/c  Analysis:  An  Algorithm  for  Place-­‐ Making  in  Cross-­‐Channel  Experiences”  (2010) source gerard1972.deviantart.com
  49. 49. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 PCSA PredicMve  CogniMve  SemanMc  Analysis source gerard1972.deviantart.com “I  had  an  intui/on  that  by  interpola/ng  results  of  best  merge   dendograms  with  an/-­‐pajern  libraries  and  text  readability   scores,  my  algorithm  would  accurately  predict  the  boundaries  of   cogni/ve  and  seman/c  mapping.”
  50. 50. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 PCSA PredicMve  CogniMve  SemanMc  Analysis source gerard1972.deviantart.com • Parallax  Theory  of  Brain  Modeling  (Johnston,  Neil  et  al.) • Cogni/ve  Disenthropy  Theory  (Blake,  McGuinn) • Systemic  Distribu/on  of  Neural  Pathways  Model  (Mould?) • Fibonacci  Sequence   • Limit  of  Consecu/ve  Quo/ents  Paradox  (Kepler) • Structural  Malta  Approach  to  Card  Sor/ng  (Mann,  Leo,  Penn)
  51. 51. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 PCSA source gerard1972.deviantart.com NDA
  52. 52. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 PCSA TOOL AND API PredicMve  CogniMve  SemanMc  Analysis (exp.  release  2014) source gerard1972.deviantart.com • Solid  taxonomy • Comparable  sitemaps  (CI  97.2%-­‐99.71) • Increased  findability,  bejer  SEO
  53. 53. IS THIS THE FUTURE? Predictive Cognitive Semantic Analysis taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 NO WAY!
  54. 54. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 WHAT CARD SORTING HELPS WITH •VeZng  naviga<on  schemes •Defining  informa<on  architecture •Improving  findability
  55. 55. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 CARD SORTING GIVES YOU •Data  to  support  decisions •Cheap  method  of  tes<ng  labels  and  structure •User-­‐centered  taxonomy
  56. 56. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 BE A TAXONOMIST (it’s your turn)
  57. 57. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 MEET THE TAXIDERMIST photo: flickr.com : (cowgirljules)
  58. 58. 1.  Exis<ng  taxonomy  (new  site) 2.  Keyword  Research 3.  User  Research 4.  Term  Sor<ng/Affinity  Diagramming 5.  Taxonomy 6.  Naviga<on taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THE EXERCISE
  59. 59. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 USER RESEARCH Doug  Rowland George  Byth Amanda  SuFon Fishing  enthusiast Gamekeeper  and  guide Amateur  taxidermist Doug  is  an  avid  fisherman  who  travels   extensively  to  fish  in  exo/c  and  some/mes   isolated  spots. He  is  an  ajorney  in  Oxwich  and  has  just   bought  a  new  office  in  Edinburgh  which  he   would  like  to  decorate  with  his  prized   catches. Doug  is  frustrated  by  the  lack  of  taxidermists   specializing  in  fish  in  the  UK  and  is  willing  to   travel  or  ship  his  specimens  in  order  to  get   what  he  wants.  He  is  also  looking  to   purchase  containers  to  preserve  his  catch   during  his  travels. George  has  just  begun  working  as   gamekeeper  for  the  Forestry  Commission   Scotland  at  the  Loch  Lomond  and  The   Trossach  Na/onal  Park.  The  wildlife   exhibi/on  in  the  David  Marshall  Lodge  Visitor   Centre  where  he  is  based  contains  several   taxidermied  animals  in  poor  shape  and   George  needs  to  learn  how  to  properly  care   of  them.  Addi/onally,  George’s  boss  has   asked  him  to  research  taxidermy   professionals  to  engage  on  contract  and  for  a   series  of  lectures  in  the  na/onal  parks. Amanda  is  a  re/ree  in  her  six/es.  She  lives   Thurso  and  owns  a  cojage  in  Kingussie   where  she  hunts  red  deer.  Now  that  she  has   /me  to  spare,  she  has  decided  to  appren/ce   with  a  taxidermist.  Amanda  would  be  willing   to  follow  an  online  course,  but  will  need  to   purchase  books  and  supplies.  Moreover,  she   has  a  deer  and  a  fox  in  her  freezer  that  she   would  like  to  get  stuffed,  but  can’t  find  an   affordable  taxidermist. GOAL Finding  fish  taxidermy  specialist,  buying   equipment. GOAL Learning  how  to  care  for  taxidermied   animals,  loca/ng  a  professional. GOAL Learning  taxidermy  either  in  person  or   online,  buying  supplies,  gerng  catches   taxidermied. photo: flickr.com (charliereece, jonhoward, widnr)
  60. 60. GO! taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THE EXERCISE
  61. 61. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 CARD SORTING & TAXONOMY RESOURCES Books Card  SorMng  -­‐  Designing  Usable  Categories Donna  Spencer Rosenfeld  Media,  2009 Mental  Models:  Aligning  Design  Strategy  with  Human  Behavior Indy  Young Rosenfeld  Media,  2008 The  Accidental  Taxonomist   Heather  Hedden Informa/on  Today,  Inc.  2010 InformaMon  Architecture  for  the  World  Wide  Web:  Designing  Large-­‐Scale  Web  Sites   Peter  Morville  and  Louis  Rosenfeld O’Reilly,  2008 Pervasive  InformaMon  Architecture:  Designing  Cross-­‐Channel  User  Experiences Andrea  Resmini  and  Luca  Rosa/ Morgan  Kaufmann,  2011
  62. 62. taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 CARD SORTING & TAXONOMY RESOURCES Card  sorMng  tools Online conceptcodify.com op/malworkshop.com/op/malsort.htm simplecardsort.com usabilitest.com/CardSor/ng uxpunk.com/websort/ Offline  (spreadsheets) Joe  Laman/a  –  boxesandarrows.com/?p=2803 Donna  Spencer  –  maadmob.com.au/?p=45 Mike  Rice  –  www.informoire.com/?p=162 How-­‐tos op/malworkshop.com/help/kb op/malworkshop.com/blog/how-­‐to-­‐pick-­‐cards-­‐for-­‐card-­‐sor/ng
  63. 63. Illustration: Dan Willis taming  taxonomy  |  @albertatrebla UX  Cambridge  2013 THANK YOU! alberta  soranzo   @albertatrebla   albertasoranzo.com