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What We Talk About When We Talk About Ontology

Posted by David Peter Simon |02 Sep 15 |

September 2, 2015

Ruminating ontology isn’t restricted to those in the philosophy realm. It’s a crucial concept, especially important to designers who strive to communicate clearly. Information architect Dan Klyn explains it simply as “what we mean when we say what we say.”

In this article, let’s understand what we mean when we say ontology, exploring how it relates to our everyday user experience work. But first, a story.

An Ontological Dilemma

Last year I worked on a major redesign project that met frequently for critique. They were an e-commerce business and we were tasked with re-platforming their website.

Given that the project was part of a wider program, we sought feedback from various stakeholders—both technical and non-technical. Bi-weekly, we…read more
By David Peter Simon