Taxonomy and User Experience

“Integrate the taxonomy DIRECTLY into the user experience.”- John Mancini, AIIM President and CEO

On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate your organization skill?

This seems to be one of those questions that most employers ask when looking to hire a new associate; I’m sure most of you remember responding to this question at least once. Unless we’re asked, we tend not to think about it. This is the same for taxonomy. It’s not often we think about taxonomy in our daily lives, but that’s simply due to how well organized our lives actually are, even if you yourself aren’t the most organized person.

Organization of one’s information should begin with taxonomy in mind to make information management simpler. Take for example, Ikea. It’s an enormous warehouse style retailer, full of every home good you may possibly need or want and somehow, you’re able to find exactly what you’re looking for. This user experience is due to the implementation of taxonomy.

I’d like to share an article that’s almost a year old, but is still very relevant. As this new year is now moving forward in full gear, it’s time to take a look into how well organized our information might be and how that may be affecting our work. 

Find the AIIM article, ‘3 Things an IKEA dresser can teach us about Content Management,” written by Mancini, here.

Here are Mancini’s quick tips:

1. Make your taxonomy as complicated as is necessary to get the job done, and not one bit more.

2. Integrate the taxonomy directly into the user and employee experience.

3.You don’t need to limit your organization to just one repository, but you do need to have a strategy.

Mancini states that the true key to Ikea’s success is that, “There is a method and a structure to the madness that allows people to navigate this incredible inventory of ‘stuff’ on their own and with a minimum of supervision, find exactly what they need, load it onto flatbed carts, and move on beyond the cash registers.”

The user experience has been streamlined and made positive due to the organization’s understanding and application of taxonomy. The more organized our lives are the less we have to work to find the information or things that we need. That should be the goal, maximize personal productivity with little to no effort, and taxonomy is how we get there. My next trip to Ikea is going to be seen with a new perspective.