Response to Organizing Information
- According to Morville and Rosenfeld, what are the various exact and ambiguous schemes one can use to organize information? As you describe each scheme, also note what kind of information the scheme is best suited for.
Exact organization schemes require users to know the exact name of the resource they are searching for, and the schemes “divide information into well-defined and mutually exclusive sections” (Morville and Rosenfeld). Such schemes are categorized as:
1/ Alphabetical schemes:
Alphabetical schemes organize information alphabetically by their key features such as last name or format. It serves as the primary organization scheme for encyclopedias and dictionaries. As shown, the scheme is best suited for nonfiction books / directories like phone books, libraries and bookstores which use names to represent the whole information entity for searching.
2/ Chronological schemes
Chronological schemes organize information by the order of time, like date of release. The scheme is best suited for information which has agreement on when the particular event occurred and has significance to users when it is ordered by time. Specific examples can include history books, magazine archives, diaries, and television guides.
3/ Geographical schemes
Geographical schemes organize information by location. When using geographical schemes, a map is usually the main interface. The scheme is best suited for information which is cared by users when categorized by location, like searching for the nearest coffee shop, and when the device supports geolocation features.
Ambiguous organization schemes do not require users to know the exact name of the resource they are searching for, and they are here to assist users to search for information based on ambiguous information. The schemes “ divide information into categories that defy exact definition” (Morville and Rosenfeld). Such schemes are categorized as:
1/ Topical organization schemes
Topical organization schemes organize information by topics or subjects like “sports” or “finance” section on a newspaper. The scheme is best suited for information which is featured more in terms of content, and when users are only interested in certain groups / topics of information.
2/ Task-oriented schemes
Task-oriented schemes organize content and applications into collections of processes, functions, or tasks. These schemes are appropriate when it’s possible to anticipate a limited number of high-priority tasks that users will want to perform. Usually the scheme is embedded into hybrid task systems like Microsoft Word.
3/ Audience-specific schemes
Audience-oriented schemes break a site into smaller, audience-specific mini-sites, and present different content to different types of audiences who are interested in the subject, hence personalizing the presentation of information. The scheme is best suited for information where there are two or more clearly definable audiences for a product or service, and when there is value in customizing the content for each audience, like a guidance website for writing categorized its information by researchers, students and fiction-writers.
4/ Metaphor-driven schemes
Metaphor-driven schemes organize information in a metaphoric way. They are commonly used to help users understand new concepts / functions by relating them to the familiar objects / concepts in life, so users can understand the content intuitively. For example the “trash can” on desktop for a computer represents the place which holds deleted information. The scheme is best suited for information when the metaphors introduced are familiar to users, when the style of organization can avoid unwanted baggage or limitation,
5/ Hybrid schemes
Hybrid schemes include multiple elements which serve as a combination of different exact and ambiguous schemes. The scheme is best suited for information when it is difficult to agree upon any one scheme, so people mix the elements of multiple schemes together on the same webpage navigation bar.
- Why did Netflix develop their microgenre feature and why didn’t they just let end-users tag movies like Flickr or YouTube allow?
By paying people to watch films and tag them with all kinds of metadata with a 36-page training document, Netflix is able to develop a sophisticated and precise process of analyzing movies and giving them specific “altgenres” with a unified standard. As the microgenre tags are combined with millions of users viewing habits, Netflix is able to place the most tailored rows higher on the page instead of lower, which increases member retention and connection, hence enabling Netflix to gain and retain subscribers for business (as their main goal).
Furthermore, Netflix creates a database of American cinematic predilections associated with the microgenre feature. As a result, they have a huge advantage in producing their own shows since the data can tell them what they should be making through analyzing audience’s preference.
By having specific people who are well-trained instead of end-users to tag those movies, Netflix is able to develop a more professional and accurate system with the same standard.