SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] examples of well designed dire
[Sigia-l] examples of well designed directories
From: Samantha Bailey (a2slb_at_earthlink.net)
Date: Wed Sep 11 2002 - 10:45:43 EDT
This is a relatively long post--if you have interest in or experience with
creating directories, please read on, as I could use the input of fellow
professionals on this one.
I'm working on a project that involves several directories of contact
information (name, phone, address, email). Our primary challenge in this
project has been that presenting our information in aggregate via the web
more or less forces us to reveal how complicated our inner workings
are--when it comes to getting our users access to a specific person, we are
operationally set up to make this easy on our users and they typically will
be routed to several people in their interactions with us rather than having
a convenient single point of contact.
To that end, there has been a lot of debate over the best way to present the
directory. I have been opting for a version that presents the full directory
via a long menu of categories presented alphabetically with the reasoning
that by the time the user has gone to the effort and has successfully found
the directory, we should get them to the contact information as quickly as
possible. The folks in the later part of the alphabet, who appear well below
the fold, however, are unhappy with this approach and would like the
directory to be set up in more of an onion format, inserting some additional
layers but making each group of categories smaller and thereby fitting all
of them into a single screen. There is some scroll vs click preference stuff
going on here, but really this seems to be more about ego and presentation
than a desire to do what is best for our users.
I have two sets of questions:
*What are the examples of the best directories you've seen out there and
why? Do they tend to function as scrolling menus, onion layered menus,
*Is anyone aware of research around directory structure/functionality?
Thanks very much. I will summarize all responses for the group.
samantha_at_baileysorts.com | http://baileysorts.com
"Do you know what that trick is? Magicians would call it the redirection.
A theologian would note that it parallels a theme found in all religions:
the paradox of turning away from the goal to achieve the goal."
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:23 EST