Creating Categories – It’s More Art Than Science

Creating Categories – It’s More Art Than Science
January 14, 2016 Lisa Kimery

Q: What does it take to create a great set of categories?

A: Donuts, coffee, and a white board.

Or beer and bagels and some post-it notes. Or maybe an off site in the south of France.

The category creation process should be fun—and inclusive. Don’t get flustered by the gravity of the event, because while it’s important, it’s not rocket science. Whatever categories—and hierarchies—you create can be tweaked, replaced, or re-ordered whenever you like. John Stimson, Senior Manager at iSupport, puts it this way: “Give categorization thought—but not too much thought. Whatever you create today, you can tweak tomorrow. Nothing is written in stone. Just get going—it’s easy.”

Part of the “just get going” philosophy involves inviting a cross section of users and other stakeholders into a conference room to start tossing ideas up on a board. Rather than a single meeting, you can host a series, perhaps beginning with the help desk representatives who are already using your existing system on a daily basis, and should provide great insight into the categories that would work well for them.

See iSupport’s whitepaper Defining and Organizing Category Structures to find out more about creating the categories that work best for your operations.