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Chapter 2. Designing for the Web > Structure is Boring, but it Works

Structure is Boring, but it Works

Website design can be boring and monotonous, because for all its revolutionary potential, the Web is a very functional place. Classification (directory) design is the science of organizing large quantities of content in an efficient and intuitive manner so that people can find what they’re looking for quickly. Directories will always have some sort of A to Z classification structure. There’s nothing wrong with that. People don’t say: “I wish they’d do something other than an A to Z for a change. Maybe Z to A, or A to L, followed by Z to M.”

The reason that people will never get bored with an A to Z directory design is the same reason they never get bored with street sign design. You don’t hear tourists complaining that the street signs in such-and-such a country are all the same design. That’s because the tourist is not there to visit the signs; they’re there to visit the places on the signs. It’s the same with classification. The classification system is not what interests the reader; it’s the content that the classification holds that’s of interest.


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