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The Discipline of Organizing: Core Concepts Edition, 3rd Edition by Robert J. Glushko

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11.19. A Nonprofit Book Publisher

By Emily Paul, December 2014.

Overview. The New Press, a nonprofit book publisher with approximately 1,000 published titles, roughly 800 of which are actively in print and featured on the website, updated its book categories for use on thenewpress.com as part of a website redesign. Rather than fully adhering to an established book classification system, such as BISAC, which is commonly used in book retail, The New Press developed its own classification system. In addition to the standard goal of allowing readers to browse categories, this classification system is designed to represent the press’s focus and mission. The New Press classification system employs a mix of principles and levels of granularity while incorporating some elements of the institutional categories from BISAC.

In order to gain some insight into how these dual goals affect usability, I ran user tests on a mockup of the website with the proposed categories. I conducted a think-aloud exercise in which the users verbalized their thoughts as they browsed through the categories and subcategories. I then asked the users to walk through where they would go for a particular book in response to a prompt from me that included the book’s title, subtitle, and a brief description. Lastly, I asked the users about what their impressions were of The New Press after looking at the categories, whether they were confused by the categories, and which categories they would be interested in looking at ...

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