The new Commission website will be structured primarily around user tasks. A task is what people come to do on the site and the action they want to take when they have the information they need.

Nevertheless, many tasks that people want to do when interacting with the Commission may have labels that sound like topics, for instance 'Environmental protection', 'Chemicals' or 'Education and training in EU'.

So how does that fit together?

While the new website will be structured according to user tasks, we may need labels based on topics to get people started on their task journey.

Say you are in Brussels and you want to drive to the Eiffel tower, but the only signposts are: North, South, East, West. You are heading south of course, to Paris. So the signpost 'South' is an immediate help . Your task isn’t 'go South'. You want to get to the Eiffel tower. But ‘South’ puts you on the right road. It’s your 'careword', a word you have in the back of your mind and you spot its relevance immediately when you see it.

The menu labels on the new Commission website will work the same way. Once you start to drill down from these high level tasks or topics you will get to the real tasks. For example, people interested in education and training in the EU might want to participate in a policy consultation, or learn how a policy concerning education and training is implemented or financed.

Visitors landing on the homepage with one of those tasks in mind will see only the word ‘education’ – that is their signpost, and clicking on it will start them on their journey to complete their task. That’s why it is important for task labels to start with the key word and be as short as possible. It's also why we avoid verbs and audience groups like 'journalists' or 'young people'.

On the road heading south, you trust that you will see signs for France, then for Paris and then ever more detailed signs until you arrive at the Eiffel tower.

Task completed.



Add new comment