Organizing Web Content à la Moreville & Rosenfeld

In “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web” Moreville & Rosenfeld list the following organization schemes that are used to organize website content:

Exact Organization Schemes

  • Alphabetical
  • Chronological
  • Geographical

Organizing your information this way makes it fairly easy to decide which category your item or topic belongs in, but it does require that the users know the name of what they are looking for.

Ambiguous Organization Schemes

  • Topic
  • Task
  • Audience
  • Metaphor
  • Hybrids

Since items are grouped in meaningful ways, these ambiguous schemes can be more useful to the user that does not know exactly what they are looking for.

These organization schemes are applied to organization of information in websites.


It is interesting to compare this list with another list I cited earlier in this blog that I applied to ordering items in a list.

From an IXDA post by Chauncey Wilson’s which cites Deborah Mayhew’s book “Principles and Guidelines in Software User Interface Design“.

Here’s a list of common ordering schemes:

  • Alphabetical
  • Task order
  • Frequency
  • Numerical (font size)
  • De facto standard
  • Legal order
  • Complexity (simple to hard)
  • Semantic similarity
  • First-in, first out

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