3 Reasons to Avoid Using a “Misc” Category group

Today, I was chatting with a client about some information architecture changes to his website. The changes were being proposed to create a better user experienced and the organize content that had professional value that we buried in a blog.

For this process, we were going to create a resource center with information that had come from the blog.  As part of the review, there was a group of categories for the resource center that was created. 

My client asked if we should create a ‘miscellaneous’ group so content that wasn’t really in one of the categories could be posted. Here is my response:

1 – It might be something that belongs in the newsletter or new

2 – The content you generate should be focused on the existing categories to help SEO. There are a lot of categories and a lot of articles that could be generated to support those areas.

3 – If you do find there is information that should be included in resources and in a new category, the process should be to review the category and determine if more than one article could be written for it before it is added.  Without creating that process, the Misc can become the ‘junk drawer’ of the website.

I have been asked this question many times by clients, and recommended against it. Sometimes, it makes it on the site. Sometimes it doesn’t make it on the site. However, it is always worth doing the exercise to ask yourself, if you can’t categorize this information, does it really belong?