Do you know the 9 Principles of Classification?

By Beth Mayhew posted 08-06-2014 15:40

  

1. INTUITIVE

The evidence of an intuitive taxonomy is that users find it easy to navigate and use. This means that users can successfully predict in which category they are likely to find the content they want, just by looking at the top level. This exploits the knowledge domain mapping function of taxonomy.

 

2. UNAMBIGUOUS

When a taxonomy is unambiguous, it does not offer alternate places to locate an information item, within the same facet.  This means that users do not have more than one obvious option for where to place content or find content they need. The taxonomy is structured so that users are presented with a minimum of difficult choices as to where to place content or find content they need.

 

3. HOSPITABLE

Hospitality means that the taxonomy can accommodate all new content without having to be revised. Inhospitable taxonomies do not have suitable terms for information content, and this tends to result in people “force-fitting” documents into unsuitable categories. 

 

4. CONSISTENT AND PREDICTABLE

Consistency and predictability means that the taxonomy provides sufficient context for users to be able to navigate the structure quickly and accurately. 

 

5. RELEVANT

Relevance means that the taxonomy reflects user language and user perspectives on how content is organized and connected. The taxonomy recognizably reflects common ways of organizing information and knowledge in the host organization or user communities. 

 

6. PARSIMONIOUS

The principle of parsimony means that the taxonomy structure offers no more and no less than what is required for the content that is to be accommodated. This means that there is no redundancy or repetition in the taxonomy. 

 

7. MEANINGFUL

The principle of meaningfulness is similar to the principle of relevance but relates more to the outcomes of a search. In relevance, the taxonomy language and structure reflects the language of the users. 

 

8. DURABLE 

Durability means that the taxonomy does not need frequent change or expansion and rarely requires radical change or reorganization. A robust taxonomy will generally only require a small audit of effectiveness every year or so unless there are radical and unexpected changes in the nature of the content being covered. 

 

9. BALANCED

A taxonomy structure is supposed to break up large amounts of information content into navigable and manageable clusters. This is the classification function of taxonomy. The principle of balance states that content should be distributed evenly across a taxonomy structure.

Use this checklist to confirm that you have achieved your goals of providing a powerful instrument in support of managing your content and records and supporting your users’ needs to capture and retrieve your organization’s content and records.

And register for the AIIM Webinar: Capture Anywhere-to-Process: The Need for Auto-Classification taking place Wednesday, August 13 at 2:00 PM Eastern.

 


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