This large professional services organisation was having trouble designing a website which could cope with the complexity of their offering. Each of the 150+ countries in which they operate differed in the services offered, the languages spoken, and the scale of the operation.
The existing site was designed in such a way that much of the content being produced just wasn’t being found by its potential audience. A complex taxonomy categorised everything neatly, but also buried useful information in places nobody thought to look for it. And nobody could decide on how to organise it better.
My solution was simple: don’t have a hierarchy at all. Those interested in a specific topic could search for it. For browsers, content was to be categorised by tags, and a conventional, rigid navigation is replaced by a contextual one, which suggests topics of interest relative to what is currently being viewed, encouraging exploration of site content.
Convincing this conservative organisation to go with such a radical solution globally wasn’t easy, but I succeeded, and the design is now being rolled out globally.