Building user experiences: Synchronizing user experience design and the supporting metadata and taxonomy infrastructure



Editor's Summary

For best results in website architecture and operation, the process of user experience design and taxonomy and metadata development should be synchronized, not developed in isolation. Bringing the two work streams together enables full consideration of how users, represented as personas, would interact with the site, pursuing likely needs and preferences. The persona review informs the technical infrastructure and functionality as well as the terminology and content types. Analysis of the site design and comparison with similar sites can lead to better appreciation of the user experience and expanded vocabulary links to improve access to content. The Key Paths methodology used by the design firm Factor captures likely user journeys to define design elements, allowing for multiple routes to appropriate content. Metadata must be available to support design, and functional design and content tagging must take advantage of metadata. The dynamic interaction and mutual support of the site's content team and design team are keys to an effective product.