Every business needs a digital presence. Digital is no longer optional in your strategic planning. Having a website is crucial to your business and enables you to connect and engage with your target audience 24/7. But having a poorly designed site that suffers from common usability problems can do significant damage to your brand and bottom line.
Once you understand what information architecture (IA) is, you may wonder why exactly it is that you need it, in order to have a successful site.
Is your customer service team spending most of their time answering questions that are directly answered on your website? Is your bounce rate far higher than it should it be? Is the most used function of your website the search bar? All of these common website usability problems are symptoms and signs of poor information architecture. Information architecture (IA) aims to connect users with the content that they are looking for, in a seamless and intuitive manner.
When looking to improve the searchability on your website or intranet or in your CMS or DAM, there are a few areas where you can look to solve searchability problems. This second part in a two-part series focuses on solving searchability problems.
When I talk with customers about website problems, I frequently hear the refrain: "Our website search is terrible. People tell us it sucks. We need to fix it." Or "I can't find anything on the website and the search doesn't give me what I am expecting." There are a few areas where we can look to fix search problems. Normally, I start with user interviews and testing, then move on to reviewing site analytics, metadata, and taxonomy.
When working on a taxonomy project, one question always comes up, "How do we know our taxonomy works?" When spending time and money developing a taxonomy that is critical to business goals and technical needs, it's important to know that the taxonomy is usable and useful. There are several ways we can test taxonomies to ensure they work.
Combining multiple taxonomies can be a contentious issue: each taxonomy belongs to a team who has put a lot of thought into their taxonomy and may not easily let go of certain terms or features. However, sometimes taxonomies do need to be combined, and here are some tips on how to go through the process.
While you recognize that your company needs a website taxonomy or intranet taxonomy, you may not be sure how to convince management to provide resources to create, implement, and maintain a taxonomy. Here are some tips.
If you’re working on a taxonomy that doesn’t have the resources (right now) to do a lot of research and engagement with subject matter experts, there are still some actionable steps you can take to improve your taxonomy.