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Design principle: Organizing information

https://uxplanet.org/design-principle-organizing-information-343a7ef936a8

uxplanet.org

Design principle: Organizing information
It is essential for our designs to show well organized information, so the user can understand easily what is shown. It is a key to providing good UX. Among many ways of showing data, one has stood the test of time and proves to be efficient even today.

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Richard Saul Wurman

“Information may be infinite, however…The organization of information is finite as it can only be organized by LATCH: Location, Alphabet, Time, Category, or Hierarchy.”

Richard Saul Wurman

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Location

Organizing information by its location (physical or conceptual) is important when the information has multiple different sources and locales.
Use it when the relative position of the information you want to present is important. When giving directions or to prioritize what is the most relevant thing to be in reach.

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Alphabet

Ordering information alphabetically is a great way to provide random access to data. It is one of the best ways to organize information when the amount of data is big (Dictionaries, encyclopedias, book indexes for example).
It is also a good fall back when the information can’t be sorted with another method.

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Time

Time is a great way of categorizing events that have happened over a fixed time duration.
Use it to present and compare events over a fixed time duration. It allows us to observe and compare changes that occur in that time frame.

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Category

Using categories is a great way to organize information when it needs to be sorted by similarity or relatedness.
But keep in mind that this has a certain degree of subjectivity in it: people don’t always group things the same way. Also, be careful with the number of sub-categories that might appear.

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Hierarchy

Organizing things by hierarchy is helpful when the information can be organized by comparing things across a common measure (small to large, lowest to highest, etc.)

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Information Clutter

In the case of information, reading several articles and sources on the same topic can create a lot of clutter. Because it creates internal struggles and questions:

  • What sort of information is important?
  • This post said this is important while another post said it wasn’t important. What information is relevant here?
  • What information should I internalize and apply?

The LATCH principle

... for organizing information:

  • Location: put the most relevant stuff to be within reach.
  • Alphabet: for organizing lists of people and statistics, dictionaries, and official documents.
  • Time: used when providing step by step instructions or when things have to be in chronological order.
  • Category: organize information by similarity or relatedness.
  • Hierarchy: organizing information that is used collectively to compare things.

4 more ideas

GTD (Getting Things Done)

GTD is a productivity method for organizing your to-dos, priorities, and schedule in a way that makes them all manageable.

Its 5 principles are:

  • Capture
  • Clarify
  • Org...

"GTD is an organizational system. It doesn't put rules around how you actually do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you capture the work you need to do, organize it, and choose what needs your attention"

"GTD is an organizational system. It doesn't put rules around how you actually do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you capture the work you need to do, organize it, and choose what needs your attention"

GTD: Capture

Capture everything. Your to-dos, your ideas, your recurring tasks, everything. Put it in a pen-and-paper notebook, a to-do app, a planner, whatever you prefer to use to get organized.

Create a To-Do List

  • Sync your to-do list with your mobile phone.
  • Write down the three most important tasks.
  • Keep to an easy and workable task list.
  • Do one thing at a time.

Simplify

Organizing unnecessary items is wasting energy. 

  • Have less stuff.
  • Eliminate outdated articles to read “someday." 
  • Find an appropriate place for everything and make sure it is easily accessible. 
  • Choose one tool and stick with it.
  • Pack tools immediately after use.

Embrace Change

It eliminates methods and ideas that no longer work and promotes the more important things.