13 years, 14 days ago

Five Ways to Organize Information

In his book Information Anxiety, Richard Saul Wurman notes that there are five basic ways to organize information:

  • Alphabet: The organizing principle used by dictionaries and telephone books.
  • Category: The segmentation of things by attribute or functionality, such as color (shirts) or capabilities (product line).
  • Continuum: Similar to category, but rather than using discrete buckets, this uses a range of values that are expressed in numbers or units. Examples of these magnitude measures include from small to large or from light to heavy. A list of products ordered by price would be a continuum; at the same time, the products could be categorized as inexpensive, moderate, or expensive.
  • Location: Physical location — in geography, points on a map; in anatomy, muscle groups; in an equipment manual, an exploded drawing.
  • Time: A timeline or a set of eras, useful when describing product or organizational history.


Posted via email from Jeffrey Blake – The Brand Hammer | Comment »