[Theforum] Structure of the directory tree

Simon Coggins ppxsjc1 at nottingham.ac.uk
Fri Jan 25 04:54:54 CST 2002


I've got an IA question relating the the Directory.

I went there the other day to find a particular link that I knew was there
(because I had approved it). It was related to Network Information, but
even though I a category existed it took me a few goes to find it. That's
because it was buried in the directory tree at:


That little experience got me thinking about the structure of the
directory tree. It seems to me to be a little deep at the moment. Even
simple categories like HTML are buried at the third level:


Also, the categories are divided by subject (such as HTML or PHP) but also
by type (for example articles or magazines), which means that it would be
easy to miss a PHP article by looking in the wrong place.

In the next version of the directory I'm planning to introduce a mechanism
for cross-linking categories which should improve things somewhat, but
that seems like a brute-force method of resolving what I would consider an
IA problem.

At present I'm thinking about the following changes (see
http://dir.evolt.org/ ):

- Remove the "Tutorials" category, putting individual articles, magazines,
  and manuals in the most relevant category/categories.

- Removing "Online Tools", moving everything up a level into "Tools". Take
  "Software" out of "Tools" and give it its own top level category.

- Remove "Distractions". Fun but not really relevant.

I'm also thinking about changes to "Resources" (which seems a little
vague) and "OS Specific" (which links commonly tend to overlap with other

I'm interested to hear any thoughts on these ideas, or any other
suggestions for improvements to the current structure. Also if anyone
knows of any IA methodologies that might exist for deciding the best
structure for a tree such as this, let me know.


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