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D. Farkas wrote:
>Putting a page (node) in two places within a hierarchy can be
>employed--sparingly--when a page really does seem to belong equally to two
>branches of the hierarchy. But this is a better reason than serendity.

Andrew Naughton wrote:
>This strictly hierarchical model does have its strengths as you point
>out.  It's important though to understand that it is not the only
>approach, and that it comes with inherent problems.  It is utterly
>dependent on second guessing which way the user wants and expects to go
>next.

At the risk of sounding repetitive: Ask Thy Users.  They will tell you what
documents should be in what places. I worked extensively (5 years) on a
large intranet and had daily direct access to users. We ended up -
successfully - with a family of web sites that shared a lot of documents.
Some documents ended up in 3, 4, even 5 places.

What drove that? Users - different people with different types of logic
(example: very logical people often looked in different places than
intuitive people), and different users approaching the same task from
different angles (or the same user approaching the same task from a
different context...).

I would like to stress that we "experts" could not have guessed, in a
million years, how to structure all that info without user input. We were
surprised again and again in users sessions. We got better at it as we did
more but we still got blindsided occasionally.

My personal opinion is that any "expert" who thinks they can design a really
good hierarchy without user input is deluding themselves. My goal is not
that "the user understands the hierarchy", but that "the user always find
what they want, where they look for it."

Any hierarchy I develop is only a first step - to be used as a tool for user
testing.

Elisabeth Paine
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207-773-1101 x106

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