Taxonomy vs Information Architecture

Okay before I get into the heart of this blog post I want to say one thing. I'm not an Information Architect and if someone was to ask me about Information Architecture I'd really struggle. I do know a little bit about Taxonomies, having worked on a project developing a Taxonomy, albeit a while ago.

So it was quite interesting to a read a blog post called "Taxonomy vs Information Architecture" on the Enterprise Content Management blog this post looks at two terms which are widely used when describing websites developed within organisations.

Having read this post, my understanding of the terms Information Architecture and Taxonomy is now this:
  • Taxonomies are used to describe and organise content so a piece of content might have a taxonomy term added to it.

  • Information Architecture is used to describe the structure of the site, used in conjunction with a Taxonomy to provide easy access to content

Am I close, or miles away still?

  1. gravatar

    # by Unknown - Friday, February 04, 2011

    Hey James, you've got it pretty clear.

    One of the things I now do is Info Architecture, which is basically structuring info on sites. So, navigation, and how content is laid out on the page/across the site, how various content types are accessed, how search works etc.

    Taxonomies are one of the things that can make navigating, browsing and searching content easier - basically tags.

  2. gravatar

    # by Unknown - Friday, April 29, 2011


    I wrote the original post you are referencing; thanks! You've summmarized the post well. Take a look at any major retailer site, like You'll see that the site's structure (the pages you can navigate to, or the Information Architecture as exposed to the public) is a hierarchical set of pages, but once you get to product groupings pages the contents within those pages are driven by the underlying taxonomy of the product content. Products can appear in multiple pages depending on how they were tagged.