How to Handle Category Outliers in Your IA

Summary: Users’ mental models of concept categories are far less strict than you might expect. Consider keeping small numbers of outlier pages within their larger parent category, rather than creating unnecessary subcategories.

If you’ve worked on building the information architecture for a website or app, you’ve probably encountered some items that were a bit tricky. It might be that they had several natural homes (polyhierarchy) or they fitted loosely into a single category. You’ve probably wondered how to handle this situation, asking yourself if you should create some specific subcategories for these odd items or just put them in the categories that they sort of belong to. You might have even thought about it in terms of how “strict” or “logical” your categorization needs to be. 

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