Topic-oriented information architecture for the enterprise

Michael Priestley
Michael PriestleyLead Information Architect
Topic-oriented information architecture for the enterprise
Michael Priestley
IBM Lead Information Architect
IA Conference April 2021
1
How did I get here?
2
API
docs DITA
Enterprise
Content
Strategy
Website
product
owner
Marketing
taxonomy
lead
Lead IA for
ibm.com
R&D
strategy
CIO CDO CMO
R&D
products
IDEs
Dev
tools
NOT TO SCALE
Writer, IA Dev, Arch, Strategist PO Taxonomist IA
Current State
3
Google gives you 240,000 doors for just one topic (at IBM alone)
Didn’t get what you needed?
The next ten hits are from other companies
And the next IBM hit is in a different aisle, with no path to it
20+ million pages
What’s showing up first?
4
Cloud
Analytics
Design
Blogs
+ results from Developer, Training, documentation...
What do we want from a common IA?
5
Every page is findable
Not just the top few results
Every page has a (unique) purpose
No duplication in those results
Every page is connected
Wherever you start, you can find a
logical path to where you need to be
Menu navigation, linking, and SEO
work together
to boost search rank and reduce
page bounce rate
What our store experience could be
platform
s
s
L
The stock rooms
• focus on individual silos, content types
• need to be governed to prevent redundant content
The aisles
• focus on search experience
• organize around topics of interest
• cross silos, linking related and
eliminating redundancy
p
Platform
navigation
The main entrance
• focus on nav from homepage
• often focused on brand priorities
• typically shallow, NOT the site map
(but should provide path to aisles)
6
We know what our audience is looking for
7
Topic taxonomy
Cloud Analytics Security
Data security
Data encryption
Industries
Product
taxonomy
Watson DB2 Guardium
Guardium Data
Encryption
Sterling
We have access to their “shopping lists” (search keywords) and can
organize our ”aisles” around what our clients are looking for
Branded Products
Unbranded Topics
Where is the content they’re looking
for?
8
So many URLs...
So many spreadsheets...
Learn
Solution
Services
Case studies
Blogs
Events
Training
Products
Documentation
....
One taxonomy
covering 20+ million URLs
How does it
match up
against those
shopping lists?
9
Reality is fuzzier than this
– multiple blog sites,
multiple event sites,
multiple product portals
even for the same
product...
Let’s get organized!
10
• Regardless of entry point, give customers access to related information
• Content has a clear home, either part of a topic or product ecosystem, or part of a supporting or audience ecosystem
• Just like aisles in a store that put logically related products together (bread with baked goods; pasts and sauces together)
topic product
“Aisles” based on shopping lists
“Shelves” filled from stock rooms “Departments” for specialized needs
What should go in each
aisle/ecosystem?
11
• Cluster pages around topics or products (what
customers are looking for)
• Each topic, subtopic, or product should have a
primary or pillar page, that all related pages
are connected to (directly or indirectly)
• Pages for the same topic or product should
have clearly different purposes or intents
• Extend the cluster across the site using
category pages
Topic ecosystem – page types and relationships,
progression to product ecosystems
3 degrees of movement:
• Drill-down by topic (or back up)
• Progress learn->solution->service/product
(or back)
•
Zoom out to explore related content outside
core (or zoom in from related to core)
12
Pages connect to ecosystems
through their components
13
Menus provide
navigation within an
ecosystem, including
category pages
Tags provide access to
parent contexts, even
across ecosystems
In-body links and CTAs
can draw from or
progress to other
ecosystems
Explore more links
provide safety-net
access to main category
pages
Components connect to pages based on their metadata
14
Topic taxonomy
Cloud Analytics Security
Data security
Data encryption
Industries
Product
taxonomy
Watson DB2 Guardium
Guardium Data
Encryption
Sterling
Page taxonomy
Topic oriented
Learn
Solution
Services
Research Developer Blog Case studies News Events
Campaigns/
conversations
Training Partners Brand Product oriented
Docs
Support
Application
Product
What is
data
encryption?
Data
encryption
solutions
Guardium
Data
Encryption
Learn Solution Product
What is the page purpose?
What is the page about?
Content chemistry:
automating page content through metadata
15
title
image
desc
Case study
classified by
topic and product
card
para
quote
References
constructed from
reusable elements
quote
Sections
populated by
query
card band
para
section
testimonials
Page templates
constrain design,
content, queries
Case studies
here
Choose
layout or
automate
Curate
list or
query
Automation and
personalization at
scale
Experiment with
both design and
relationships
Content chemistry: automating and personalizing page connections
16
Menu
Title/description
CTA link
Intro/Benefits
Resources
Related products
Explore more
Solution page
Automatic
Automatic
Automatic
Automatic
Automatic
Personal
Personal
Personal
What if a page belongs to more than one ecosystem?
Pick a primary ecosystem with simple rules
17
Ecosystem priorities:
1 usage
2 unbranded interest
3 branded interest
4 content type,
unless shared
Product
Topic
usage
unbranded
Platform or suite
branded
(not usage)
Brand
Product
usage
content type
(shared)
Docs
Case
studies
content type
(prod specific)
How can we determine which pages are published to which ecosystems?
18
Identify related
and competing
pages
before creating new
ones
Data stewards
manage taxonomies
Metadata stewards
approve tagging that
determines where a page is
published, its navigation and
links
Topic/Product squads coordinate
content planning and shared page
ownership for an entire ecosystem
New Page!
CTS
Watson service assists and validates
author tagging, tags legacy content, and
identifies retagging needs when
taxonomy changes
Review: what did we just talk about?
19
Focus Organize Connect
Shopping lists Aisles/ecosystems 3-dimensional movement
Components Metadata Content
Chemistry
IA is about
customer
experience,
anchored in
customer
needs
IA is about
content and
customer data,
and combining the
two to experiment
and improve
But to make it
work we need
processes and
governance that
cross
organizational
silos
1 of 19

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Topic-oriented information architecture for the enterprise

  • 1. Topic-oriented information architecture for the enterprise Michael Priestley IBM Lead Information Architect IA Conference April 2021 1
  • 2. How did I get here? 2 API docs DITA Enterprise Content Strategy Website product owner Marketing taxonomy lead Lead IA for ibm.com R&D strategy CIO CDO CMO R&D products IDEs Dev tools NOT TO SCALE Writer, IA Dev, Arch, Strategist PO Taxonomist IA
  • 3. Current State 3 Google gives you 240,000 doors for just one topic (at IBM alone) Didn’t get what you needed? The next ten hits are from other companies And the next IBM hit is in a different aisle, with no path to it 20+ million pages
  • 4. What’s showing up first? 4 Cloud Analytics Design Blogs + results from Developer, Training, documentation...
  • 5. What do we want from a common IA? 5 Every page is findable Not just the top few results Every page has a (unique) purpose No duplication in those results Every page is connected Wherever you start, you can find a logical path to where you need to be Menu navigation, linking, and SEO work together to boost search rank and reduce page bounce rate
  • 6. What our store experience could be platform s s L The stock rooms • focus on individual silos, content types • need to be governed to prevent redundant content The aisles • focus on search experience • organize around topics of interest • cross silos, linking related and eliminating redundancy p Platform navigation The main entrance • focus on nav from homepage • often focused on brand priorities • typically shallow, NOT the site map (but should provide path to aisles) 6
  • 7. We know what our audience is looking for 7 Topic taxonomy Cloud Analytics Security Data security Data encryption Industries Product taxonomy Watson DB2 Guardium Guardium Data Encryption Sterling We have access to their “shopping lists” (search keywords) and can organize our ”aisles” around what our clients are looking for Branded Products Unbranded Topics
  • 8. Where is the content they’re looking for? 8 So many URLs... So many spreadsheets... Learn Solution Services Case studies Blogs Events Training Products Documentation .... One taxonomy covering 20+ million URLs
  • 9. How does it match up against those shopping lists? 9 Reality is fuzzier than this – multiple blog sites, multiple event sites, multiple product portals even for the same product...
  • 10. Let’s get organized! 10 • Regardless of entry point, give customers access to related information • Content has a clear home, either part of a topic or product ecosystem, or part of a supporting or audience ecosystem • Just like aisles in a store that put logically related products together (bread with baked goods; pasts and sauces together) topic product “Aisles” based on shopping lists “Shelves” filled from stock rooms “Departments” for specialized needs
  • 11. What should go in each aisle/ecosystem? 11 • Cluster pages around topics or products (what customers are looking for) • Each topic, subtopic, or product should have a primary or pillar page, that all related pages are connected to (directly or indirectly) • Pages for the same topic or product should have clearly different purposes or intents • Extend the cluster across the site using category pages
  • 12. Topic ecosystem – page types and relationships, progression to product ecosystems 3 degrees of movement: • Drill-down by topic (or back up) • Progress learn->solution->service/product (or back) • Zoom out to explore related content outside core (or zoom in from related to core) 12
  • 13. Pages connect to ecosystems through their components 13 Menus provide navigation within an ecosystem, including category pages Tags provide access to parent contexts, even across ecosystems In-body links and CTAs can draw from or progress to other ecosystems Explore more links provide safety-net access to main category pages
  • 14. Components connect to pages based on their metadata 14 Topic taxonomy Cloud Analytics Security Data security Data encryption Industries Product taxonomy Watson DB2 Guardium Guardium Data Encryption Sterling Page taxonomy Topic oriented Learn Solution Services Research Developer Blog Case studies News Events Campaigns/ conversations Training Partners Brand Product oriented Docs Support Application Product What is data encryption? Data encryption solutions Guardium Data Encryption Learn Solution Product What is the page purpose? What is the page about?
  • 15. Content chemistry: automating page content through metadata 15 title image desc Case study classified by topic and product card para quote References constructed from reusable elements quote Sections populated by query card band para section testimonials Page templates constrain design, content, queries Case studies here Choose layout or automate Curate list or query Automation and personalization at scale Experiment with both design and relationships
  • 16. Content chemistry: automating and personalizing page connections 16 Menu Title/description CTA link Intro/Benefits Resources Related products Explore more Solution page Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic Personal Personal Personal
  • 17. What if a page belongs to more than one ecosystem? Pick a primary ecosystem with simple rules 17 Ecosystem priorities: 1 usage 2 unbranded interest 3 branded interest 4 content type, unless shared Product Topic usage unbranded Platform or suite branded (not usage) Brand Product usage content type (shared) Docs Case studies content type (prod specific)
  • 18. How can we determine which pages are published to which ecosystems? 18 Identify related and competing pages before creating new ones Data stewards manage taxonomies Metadata stewards approve tagging that determines where a page is published, its navigation and links Topic/Product squads coordinate content planning and shared page ownership for an entire ecosystem New Page! CTS Watson service assists and validates author tagging, tags legacy content, and identifies retagging needs when taxonomy changes
  • 19. Review: what did we just talk about? 19 Focus Organize Connect Shopping lists Aisles/ecosystems 3-dimensional movement Components Metadata Content Chemistry IA is about customer experience, anchored in customer needs IA is about content and customer data, and combining the two to experiment and improve But to make it work we need processes and governance that cross organizational silos