Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Return to content

Since September last year we've been organising and re-organising content (amongst other things - I mean we haven't spent an entire year doing just this!). But anyway my point is that in the process we've changed the names of some things and other things have been moved, deleted and added.

The hierarchy for the navigation has become a little abstract so it seemed a good idea to get back to the content.

So now we have a note against each item in the list telling us what exists on the current Intranet, what exists in the staff handbook and what we need to create. Now we can see just how much work we need to do on the content. It's a lot.

Also, now it feels more comfortable to radically re-name the items in the navigation hierarchy.

It's important to do this as it could help us with the naming problem I was describing in the last few posts.

We were struggling with names for sections and everyone we asked struggled too. We found that some confusion was coming from the labelling of content items.

When I was looking at the lists one afternoon I remembered how difficult it was to ask people to find certain things because they were listed in our new hierarchy according to what they are now, instead of what they will be.

Basically we needed to re-name things. We did re-name a lot of items during the card-sorting at the start of this process but as mentioned earlier this had not included the staff handbook - as it wasn't on the Intranet at the time.

Our confusion was deep and I'll try and describe it but I'm not sure how much sense it will make.

The items that are on the current Intranet and in the Staff Handbook need work. Intranet content which was poorly named was identified in the card sorting. However, some policies
may need the procedure elements splitting out of them but these were not all listed as their clean, new, rennovated items, they were listed in their current format.

For instance the sick leave policy is a document at the moment which contains a procedure and our plan is to separate it into 2 items, perhaps also combining it with another policy which covers the self-certification of sickness (and also contains some procedure).

So in the new Intranet there will be a section where you can read what you should do if you are ill and how to go about certification (when do you need a form from the doctor? When should you call in? Who should you call? Basically: what you have to do if you are ill) and a link to the policy (how many days sick leave are you entitled to? What happens when you've used them all up? How is long term sick leave dealt with? Basically: what the rules are about absence due to illness).

Here's the confusion: We had 2 items listed called 'Sick leave policy' and 'Sickness self certification policy'. And no entry for what you actually have to do.

For us doing the organisation it was easy to feel the sense of the category as we knew that the items would be split but because this was an evolution it wasn't obvious that confusion was coming from some content items which we still needed to re-name.

So, now we've got to the bottom of it and we're re-naming all of the hierarchy content that needs to be re-named. Hopefully this will clarify the purpose of the categories to others and lead to meaningful names for them.



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