This is a follow-up to last week’s post on how we classify content and build navigation paths.

Do you store your coffee cups next to your coffee machine or across the kitchen with all the other cups and glasses? Both are fine, but represent two ways of classifying things: by type (cups and glasses) and by task (getting a cup of coffee).

Classifying content in different ways

For the new web platform, we’re also classifying content in these two ways:

  • by type: a law, a policy, a news article, a document, etc.
  • by task: get funding, find out how to comply with a law, etc.

This allows us to group and display content in different ways, depending on how the user wants to find it:

  • by type: "I want to search through all laws."
  • by task: "I want to see if I’m eligible for funding for my project."

To help people get there, we also classify content by its topic, or other descriptive information. This helps users make decisions along the way:

  • by topic: energy, agriculture, maritime, etc.
  • by political priority: Jobs, Growth and Investment, Energy Union, etc.
  • by department (for those in the know): DG Energy, DG Research and Innovation, etc.

Building navigation around the classification

When creating a navigation scheme, we account for the fact that users may use one or several classifications. Lawyers might prefer going directly to a law database and searching (type). Interest representatives might want all the latest content in their given field (topic).

Others may need different classifications to help them on their way. A researcher working on solar panel technology might use the following navigation path:

Energy (topic) > Solar energy programme (type) > Apply for funding (task)

This approach, combined with rigorous user research and testing, will gradually improve navigation success and ensure all users can choose the path that resonates with them the best.

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