There are five ways to organise information. These being Category, Time, Location, Alphabetically and Continuum.
The organisation of information is one of the most powerful factors influencing the way people think about and interact with a design. The five ways of organising information asserts that there are a limited number of organ strategies, regardless of the specific application.
Category – Category refers to organisation by similarity or by relatedness. Some examples of this include areas of study in a school or university or the types of retail merchandise on a web site.
Time – Refers to organising information in a chronological order. These are most effectively used with timelines or transport schedules.
Location – Organising by location can be useful when presenting information which is specific to a location such as a travel map or exit locations.
Alphabetically – Organising by alphabetical sequence. Some examples of this are dictionaries, encyclopedias or phone books. An alphabetical list is used when information is referential or when there is no other logical way to present the information.
Continuum – Refers to organising information by magnitude. For example highest to lowest, best to worst, cheapest to most expensive, tallest to shortest, oldest to youngest. This type of organisation can be seen in Cricket batsman’s averages or motor racing times.