When creating a taxonomy, you need to make a few decisions to end up with a well-functioning result. Uncover 5 rules to help you create an easy-to-use taxonomy for your project.
The design process
Decide what your taxonomy needs to cover. For example, if you’re selling cars, you want to cover car types, brands, fuel, and so on.
Think about how detailed you need the taxonomy to be. Always base this on what’s important to your business. Don’t categorize just for the sake of categorization.Below is an example of how NOT to do it. Check out what’s wrong and avoid such mistakes in your taxonomies. 🤞🏻
3. One term per concept
When you have the scope and granularity sorted out, you need to pick one term for each concept.For instance, some people say cars run on gas, others call it petrol. It’s the same thing. Pick one term to avoid confusion.
4. Define the terms
Define what the terms are intended for. That’s important so people in your organization know the term gas, for instance, is intended for cars that run on petrol in British English.
5 tips for creating a great term structure
Meet the following rules, and you’ll create a taxonomy that’s functional and easy to use.
Mutually exclusive terms
Make the terms mutually exclusive. For example, having terms like adult cats and elderly cats as siblings wouldn’t work because every elderly cat is also an adult cat.If you require that distinction, use nesting and put elderly cats under adult cats.
One parent only
Taxonomy terms can’t have more than one parent. It would complicate the taxonomy.For instance, having the term kittens both under cats and under non-adult pets leads to confusion. Is it the same term or not?
If your taxonomy contains both the terms petrol and gas, people won’t know which term to pick. Your taxonomy’s going to be confusing and less useful.Terms with identical names aren’t unique, even if they’re under different parents. For example, two terms labeled adults where one is under cats and the other is under dogs are confusing because people need to check parents of the terms to pick the right one.
Important terms only
A very detailed taxonomy might seem like an awesome thing. However, if the details are not important for your business, they only bring useless complexity and make using the taxonomy unnecessarily complicated.So, create only those terms and levels that are important for your organization.
As precise terms as possible
It might be tempting to merge terms together. For example, if you have products with pet food, you may just categorize them under pets.However, if you sell dog and cat food, create taxonomy terms for both – dog food and cat food. It may happen that you’ll want to have a filter on your website or you’ll want to filter your products yourself, and it will be impossible if you overly merge the terms.
Model your taxonomies the right way
If you already know what taxonomies you want in your project, it’s time to bring them to life. With taxonomies, you can start tagging your content items and assets to boost your productivity.
Family terminology in the world of taxonomiesTaxonomy relationships are comparable to family relationships. When people talk about relationships among taxonomy terms, they use the words parent, child, and sibling, just like in family relationships.