help with categorization/client relation

11 Aug 2008 - 10:16pm
5 years ago
4 replies
638 reads
Micah Freedman
2008

Hi,

I'm working on a commercial real estate site, and I'm having a bit of
trouble coming to agreement with my client on categorization. He wants
a two-level category scheme, which is fine. The problem is, he want
some terms at both levels of the categories, thus:

Commercial
Automotive
Mixed
Restaurant
Retail
Warehouse
Industrial
Flex
Manufacturing
Warehouse
Investment
Commercial
Industrial
Land
Office
Land
Commercial
Development
Industrial
Multi Family
Office
Office
Corporate
Professional
Warehouse

Basically, the problem is with the Land and Investment super-
categories, which have the other TLC's as their sub-cats (for the most
part). My instinct is that that will be confusing. (I don't mind
having Warehouse under both Commercial and Industrial, though.)

Am I being too rigid? Can anyone point me to any research on this
question? (I would imagine that there's been tons.)

TIA

Comments

13 Aug 2008 - 7:25am
Alan James Salmoni
2008

This might not be what you wanted, but you could always test this. It
won't take many resources - just see if people get confused if the
categories' contents are not mutually exclusive, or if they get lost
trying to navigate around. In some cases, my guess would be that it's
okay to have some items at different levels, but on others it would
not. This could be a tricky one that needs each item considered
individually if you want to get it spot on.

It might even be worthwhile running a card sort on the sub-categories
to get the best idea of which super-categories they fit into (I'm
assuming you haven't already - apologies if you have). It's a quick
and easy (ie, quick and fast) test to run. Card sort results should be
enough evidence to show how other people (ie, customers) might
categorise items and be close enough to get the job done quickly.

Apologies if this isn't what you wanted.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31967

13 Aug 2008 - 9:51am
Sterling Koch
2008

I've built several real estate sites myself, have had some of the same requests, and haven't found it to be a problem. My experience is that most people don't see this as a unique category/subcategory system, but rather as a general grouping. That is, there will be Industrial Land and there will be Industrial Investment properties - most people won't find that confusing. This is the way the MLS handles it as well (I work for an MLS company, so I have some experience here).

I hope that helps to ease your troubled mind a bit.

- Sterling

----- Original Message ----
From: Micah Freedman <i at micahfreedman.com>
To: IXDA list <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 8:16:41 PM
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] help with categorization/client relation

Hi,

I'm working on a commercial real estate site, and I'm having a bit of
trouble coming to agreement with my client on categorization. He wants
a two-level category scheme, which is fine. The problem is, he want
some terms at both levels of the categories, thus:

Commercial
Automotive
Mixed
Restaurant
Retail
Warehouse
Industrial
Flex
Manufacturing
Warehouse
Investment
Commercial
Industrial
Land
Office
Land
Commercial
Development
Industrial
Multi Family
Office
Office
Corporate
Professional
Warehouse

Basically, the problem is with the Land and Investment super-
categories, which have the other TLC's as their sub-cats (for the most
part). My instinct is that that will be confusing. (I don't mind
having Warehouse under both Commercial and Industrial, though.)

Am I being too rigid? Can anyone point me to any research on this
question? (I would imagine that there's been tons.)

TIA

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13 Aug 2008 - 11:18am
John Chin
2008

On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 11:16 PM, Micah Freedman <i at micahfreedman.com>wrote:
"I'm working on a commercial real estate site, and I'm having a bit of
trouble coming to agreement with my client on categorization. He wants a
two-level category scheme, which is fine. The problem is, he want some terms
at both levels of the categories"

Micah,
Seems like the client is trying to enforce a strictly hierarchical tree
relationship to categories that
the client feels is not necessarily hierarchical.
This is a typical issue for menu search and/or category research.
For example, a study done by Tom Landauer investigating search for items in
the yellow pages
indicated that people pick the wrong organizing category half of the time on
their first try.
Is it Doctor or Physician? Is it Drug store or Pharmacy?
So if one goes to Doctor, there is a pointer to Physician etc...
It's not clean or elegant and you need to account for the fact that people
will choose the wrong category initially.
Yours,
John

John Chin
User Experience Professional
jchin at acm.org
http://www.johnpchin.com

28 Aug 2008 - 10:52am
Micah Freedman
2008

Sorry for the long delay, but I just wanted to send a quick thinks to
everyone for their input on my categorization problem.

-Micah

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