Thoughts, links, and essays from Peter Merholz
petermescellany   petermemes


Archives before June 13, 2001

RSS Feed

Adaptive Path (my company!)

About peterme

Most of the Time
Oakland, CA

American history around the time of the Revolution, figuring out how to marry top-down task-based information architecture processes with bottom-up document-based ones, finding a good dentist in San Francisco Oakland
Designing the user experience (interaction design, information architecture, user research, etc.), cognitive science, ice cream, films and film theory, girls, commuter bicycling, coffee, travel, theoretical physics for laypeople, single malt scotch, fresh salmon nigiri, hanging out, comics formalism, applied complexity theory, Krispy Kreme donuts.

Click to see where I wander.

Wish list
Show me you love me by
buying me things.

Track updates of this page with Spyonit. Clickee here.

[Editor's note: began as a site of self-published essays, a la Stating The Obvious. This evolved (or devolved) towards link lists and shorter thoughtpieces. These essays are getting a tad old, but have some good ideas.]
Reader Favorites
Interface Design Recommended Reading List
Whose "My" Is It Anyway?
Frames: Information Vs. Application

Interface Design
Web Development
Movie Reviews

Oh, and Lou-- Posted on 09/26/2001.

I still say hierarchical categorizations ARE tyrannical. And I'm upset with library/info-scientists for keeping the magic of faceted classification from the rest of us so long.

2 comments so far. Add a comment.

Previous entry: "Follow Up On Facets."
Next entry: "The Politics Of Science."


Peter, I agree with you. I generally loathe strict systems of hierarchy, particularly if they are the lone method of gaining access to information. I could never find what I was looking for in the Yellow Pages and the Dewey decimal system is easy to understand, but did not lead me to all books I on a topic. The Internet and searchable digital yellow pages helped me find the store I knew existed. Card catalogs helped me find nearly all the books available on a topic, but were hidden by Dewey in the racks/stacks as they were cross-classified. Hierarchical systems can be a barrier to discovery in the wonderful world of information, unless they are tied with an easily accessible cross-classification system or a near granular classification system, which can be comprised of the element's facets.
Posted by vanderwal @ 09/27/2001 05:44 AM PST [link to this comment]

Amazon seems to be thinking along these lines with their newly launched MyStore tab. I'm not sure that it is faceted exactly, but I think I would define it more that way than as a hierarchy.

- John
Posted by John S. Rhodes @ 09/27/2001 07:28 PM PST [link to this comment]

Add A New Comment:


E-Mail (optional)

Homepage (optional)

Comments Now with a bigger box for text entry! Whee!

All contents of are © 1998 - 2002 Peter Merholz.