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Principles of Taxonomies

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Gives an overview of taxonomies and how they work in websites,

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Principles of Taxonomies

  1. 1. Principles of Taxonomy Theresa Putkey Information Architect Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover• A brief history lesson• A look at modern day taxonomies• Taxonomies purpose and uses• Building a taxonomy• Taxonomy maintenance• Transferring your skills Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  3. 3. Brief History Lesson Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  4. 4. Modern Day Taxonomies• We have information products that are extremely content heavy• Managed with CMS, DAM, digital library• Taxonomies help us re-use content• Taxonomies help users find content Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  5. 5. LISTACopyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  6. 6. CBCCopyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  7. 7. CBC ArchivesCopyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  8. 8. AmazonCopyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  9. 9. Taxonomy Purpose• Find like items• Improve search results• Disambiguate terms• Differentiate between dissimilar items Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  10. 10. Taxonomy Use• Used by an author to find and reuse content• Used by a customer to find and use content• Label items with terms• Search on those terms• Browse through the terms Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  11. 11. Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  12. 12. Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  13. 13. Metadata & Taxonomy• Metadata is data about data, or information about information. We have a shoe, then we have information about the shoe.• Some of this information can be assigned by the taxonomy. Company: Hunter Style: Hunter Original Colour: Purple Boot Shaft: Knee High Width: M Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  14. 14. What We’ll CoverWe’ve covered:• A brief history lesson• A look at modern day taxonomies• Taxonomies purpose and usesNow we’ll get into:• Building a taxonomy• Taxonomy maintenance• Transferring your skills Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  15. 15. Basics of Building a Taxonomy• Do a content audit and assign keywords to each component.• Pull out all the keywords into one list, then consolidate.• Decide on your controlled vocabulary. Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  16. 16. Ways to Categorize• Controlled vocabulary refers to an authority list, thesaurus or taxonomy. Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  17. 17. Taxonomies• Hierarchical and faceted• Outlines relationships between items• Used in computer systems to retrieve non- physical objects.• Images, content components, documents, videos. Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  18. 18. Relationships• Scope Note• Broader Terms• Related Terms• Narrower Terms• Use• Use For Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  19. 19. Hierarchical Taxonomy• Used when hierarchical structure of items is very important• Preserves relationships• But can be more difficult to navigate Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  20. 20. Hierarchical Taxonomy ExampleHierarchical Flat Format (Thesaurus) Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  21. 21. Faceted Taxonomy• Used when attributes are more important than hierarchy• Easier to navigate• But can hinder someone looking for hierarchical relationships• Traditionally one facet value from each facet (but used more casually outside of libraries) Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  22. 22. Faceted Taxonomy Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  23. 23. Faceted Taxonomy Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  24. 24. Taxonomy ReviewYou may need to teach others how to readand use a taxonomyNeed to work with stakeholders to makesure:• Taxonomy reflects real-world language• BT, RT, and NT are accurate• Nothing is missing• Nothing needs to be removed Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  25. 25. Taxonomy Maintenance• New content always being created• Some of it may not have a “spot” and needs to be accommodated• Keywords can be promoted to taxonomy terms• Weekly, monthly, quarterly reviews• Email list for suggestions and discussion Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  26. 26. You, a Taxonomist• Aware of content• Aware of how people use content (authors and customers)• Know how to classify information (think indexing)• One of a few people interested and good at information organization• Volunteer yourself Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  27. 27. What We CoveredWe covered:• A brief history lesson• A look at modern day taxonomies• Taxonomies purpose and uses• Building a taxonomy• Taxonomy maintenance• Transferring your skills Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  28. 28. More Resources• National Information Standards Organization (2004). Understanding metadata. http://www.niso.org/publications/press/Understanding Metadata.pdf• Thesaurus Principles http://willpowerinfo.co.uk/thesprin.htm• Metadata? Taxonomy? Thesauri? Topic Maps! http://www.ontopia.net/topicmaps/materials/tm-vs- thesauri.html• Getty AAT http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat/• Hedden, Heather. (2010). Accidental Taxonomist.• Taylor, Arlene G. (2004). The organization of information, 2nd ed. Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited. Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  29. 29. Sesame Street Taught Us Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.
  30. 30. Contact Info• 604 563 6317• tputkey@keypointe.ca• www.keypointe.ca• @tputkey Copyright (C) Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc.

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