It’s often really hard for users to find the information they need, and that’s why content teams reach for taxonomy. The hope is that consistently labeled pieces of information will be easier to search and navigate. But the effort and discipline to adopt a taxonomy can be daunting.
Will it take months of analysis and training? Will fitting everything into neat containers destroy authors’ creativity? Taxonomy does take effort, but when it’s done properly, the benefits more than justify the pain. More than just labeling information and parceling it into neat boxes, it’s about understanding the underlying concepts that your content describes.
The actual tags you use are secondary to the ideas behind them — each piece of content’s subject matter, purpose, intended audience, and role in the larger content set. Using a taxonomy makes you look again at what you are writing. You abandon information for its own sake, and instead shape content to fit your customers. Not only does their experience with search and navigation improve; what they find speaks directly to their needs.