Creating rich internet applications (RIAs) is partly about the technology to evaluate and serve up all these connections, but it is impossible without care, design, and maintenance of your content’s taxonomy.
Again, unlike our scientific counterparts, there can be no, single, universal taxonomy for web content because each content domain has its own context of purpose, vocabulary, and peculiarity. There are commercially available taxonomic systems to get you started, but they all have to be evaluated for your specific purpose, and there will always be adaptation of the metadata.
Taxonomy, Navigation, and Sitemaps
A lot of the confusion in the workshops dealt with how a website’s taxonomy relates to the other aspects of its information architecture. As we explore these concepts, keep in mind that when done well, the taxonomy is completely invisible to the user. It just makes everything run smoothly.
The sitemap reveals the website’s overall organization. Every bit of content on a website needs a primary “home.” Ultimately, when you reach a content item, you are (virtually, of course) in a particular location on the site. The information architect’s job is to choose from the infinite range of organizational possibilities to anchor the user experience, which then is the foundation for the richness that the taxonomy creates.
The sitemap probably will reflect some basic aspects of the taxonomy underlying the content, but when you consider the richness and complexity described above, any relation between the sitemap and the taxonomy will be loose.
Navigation is more closely related to the sitemap than to the taxonomy. The main navigation provides the user an organized path around the website, intended for browsing. Like the sitemap, it may reflect some aspects of the taxonomy, but it doesn’t have to.
The taxonomy will enable, however, the local navigation options through access points to content elsewhere on the site, reached through the relatedness of content.
Full article @ http://contentstrategy.rsgracey.com
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