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Old Apr 7, 2008, 08:14 AM   #1
Eraserhead
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Categories in the Mac Guides

The Mac Guides are a great resource for the website, however I think the categories of articles on the site aren't particularly great which makes finding information difficult.

I'd like to try and improve it, but part of the problem is the front page, which I can't edit and there should be a consensus on something that major.

There a some categories that contain very little good content, for example the "Companies" category. There are some which are fairly meaningless like the "Guides" category. And there are some which seem a little wishy-washy like the "Digital Lifestyle" category, what should go in there? I think the following categories on the front page would be good.

Main Categories

Mac Hardware - Apples Mac hardware and related articles such as the ones for RAM and upgrades. Subcategories for laptops, desktops, and possibly individual models.
Mac Software - Any software available for Mac OS X. Subcategories for Mac OS X, individual software titles and Programming.
iTunes - Anything related to iTunes for Mac or Windows.
iPod/Apple TV - Anything iPod or AppleTV (which is essentially an iPod that doesn't move ) related.
iPhone/iPod Touch - Anything iPhone, or iPod Touch related. Subcategories for jailbreaking and individual software titles.
Gaming - The gaming articles are very popular, and that Mac isn't always the best platform for gaming, so I think it should have its own category, including articles for connecting your console to your Mac. With subsections for iPod Game titles, Mac Game titles.
Networking and Internet - Internet Related Articles. Subcategory for Software titles.
People and Organisations - Any articles for companies and analysts and Apple CEO's.

Special Categories

MacRumors.com - Same as now.
Forum Posts - Same as now, but this should be a special category.
Uncategorised - Anything that doesn't fit in the above categories. Could possibly be renamed "Miscellaneous" or something.

Finally a link to the Help:Contents article from the front page would be useful.

Any thoughts? Anything major I've missed?
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Last edited by Eraserhead; Apr 7, 2008 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Not the edit article, the help contents article
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Old Apr 13, 2008, 01:01 PM   #2
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So if there are no objections is there any chance we could implement this?
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Old May 12, 2008, 07:56 PM   #3
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Hmm, I'm still going around the Guides getting used to the layout and it is kind of all over the place, too many categories and subcategories, and neither of them is particularly strong either, and it follows the exact layout of Wikipedia (same software of course) for categories which is just poorly designed.

For one thing you should never aim to have a single category for miscellaneous articles, it's poor form, and while it makes for a nice organization tool until something can be categorized, it would make more sense to just categorize something at the articles creation.

Gaming is a subset of software in this case, games themselves are just software after all, having a subcategory for gaming maybe, but Apple has 0 dedicated hardware for gaming, gaming is just another feature in the case of the iPod or something that their hardware is capable of running such as with the iPhone or Mac OS X.

The thing that's getting in the way of my ideas for organization is the distinction between Apple's platforms, Macs, iPhones, and iTunes. So I propose they be grouped together to cut down on more useless categories since some of those articles might apply to both Macs and iPhones or both iPhones and iTunes.

How about this:
HardwareMac, Server, iPhone, iPod
You propose subcategories for Laptops and Desktops but Apple's entire Hardware lineup currently consists of 6 computers, 3 Desktops and 3 Laptops. If you want to count in past models then it starts to make more sense, but not enough to call for a distinction between the two, especially since there's no need for separate articles consisting of every single model ever released, so for example, the PowerMacs could be grouped together, the iBooks grouped together, the iMacs grouped together, and all the others. Maybe one more subcategory for accessories but that doesn't draw a clear enough line between Mac accessories and iPod accessories, so stuff like Cinema Displays should just be categorized with Macs and FM transmitters with the iPod category. The Apple TV of course would also go under iPod.

SoftwareMac OS X and Operating Systems, iPhone OS, Developer, Games
Mac OS X can cover Mac software, UNIX programs, and Server software, it's kind of a lot to cover though so maybe either UNIX or Server could be broken out into a new subcategory if the Mac OS X category started growing too large. In comparison, the iPhone OS category will probably be much smaller, at least for now, but as a bonus it can also encompass some Web Apps as well. Games should be its own subcategory and cover Mac OS X, iPod, and iPhone games.

Services
I don't think this one really needs any subcategories, iTunes might prove large but if it's covering up too much of the category then it might be reconsidered to be broken out into a new subcategory. Otherwise it should be just fine stacking Apple's Services and Services for Mac users in here. Retail would also go here.

Networking
Really covers both hardware and software, including Airport, and is basically independent of the barriers between any of Apple's platforms. Can also cover Internet services I guess but that would be pushing it.

People and Organizations

Sorry to be so critical but I deeply care about layout and organization in everything, and the guides should be as easy as possible for users to navigate with as few categories and subcategories as we can get away with.

Sebastian
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Old May 13, 2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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I do still prefer my titles as they are more user-friendly and product centric rather than type centric. For example with your way is that iPod Touch software would be in a different place from iPod Touch hardware. But your layout does have the advantage of less options to click on and it is still a lot better than the existing layout.
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Old May 14, 2008, 11:06 AM   #5
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I don't believe that either nail it on the head. While they're both a vast improvement, the proposals still need a little work in my view.

While I don't have anything to lay on the table right now, I'll come back and post when I've had thinkies.
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Old May 15, 2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
I do still prefer my titles as they are more user-friendly and product centric rather than type centric. For example with your way is that iPod Touch software would be in a different place from iPod Touch hardware. But your layout does have the advantage of less options to click on and it is still a lot better than the existing layout.

The point was to be type-centric rather than product centric because it can be used as a net for all future products as well, while with your proposal, we might need to be adding or removing categories depending on how Apple changes their product lineup, and this way, we can cover the individual pieces of each product, so for example, the iPod touch software is essentially the same as the iPhone software minus the drivers for a few other pieces of hardware and minus a couple of phone specific applications. So if Apple were to create ANOTHER product that used the same software, we can just add the differences between the software to the "iPhone OS" page. The iPod touch as a subset of the iPhone shouldn't even have it's own page, but instead should be mentioned in the main iPhone article in it's own section and we can set the iPod touch page to automatically redirect to that section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigandy View Post
I don't believe that either nail it on the head. While they're both a vast improvement, the proposals still need a little work in my view.

While I don't have anything to lay on the table right now, I'll come back and post when I've had thinkies.
Hmm, well I think mine was simple and to the point, but I look forward to your proposal as well, but if you're looking for ideas here's a brief outline of why I proposed a type specific approach:

1. Minimize Confusion by minimizing categories and subcategories.
2. Minimize clicks by minimizing categories and subcategories
3. Maximize the usefulness of the Macrumors Guides to everybody, not just the average user, and not just Macrumors users (it would still drive traffic to Macrumors though).
4. It would cover a network of related technologies and not just Apple's products and services helping new users get the most out of their new hardware purchase (as I understand it, many new Mac users and maybe iPhone users now also end up on Macrumors looking for help, advice, and to join the Mac User community).
5. Also serve as a reference for older and experienced users.

Sebastian
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