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Information Architecture

See the Appendix for the FAQ about information architecture (IA).
Back in 2003 Indexetera was part of the seminal group of the IA movement in Germany. Indexetera is a member of the Special Interest Group Taxonomies & Controlled Vocabularies of the American Society for Indexing.

Vocabulary control
Use of controlled vocabularies
Basic conditions
Information architecture lives beneath the surface.
— Louis Rosenfeld & Peter Morville,
Polar Bear 2 book


Your stylish site has the latest bells and whistles, yet something isn’t right with the organization and findability of your contents? You are using a database, content management system, or site search engine, being convinced you’ve solved all problems concerning information retrieval?

Especially commercial sites offering products and services, as well as corporate intranets consisting of rich information resources could benefit from efficient findability often neglected or ignored altogether!

IA services of Indexetera focus on findability of contents by means of vocabulary control. Expertise stems from many years of dealing with small to large vocabularies including thesauri, some of them consisting of several thousand terms.

Vocabulary control

Efficient findability depends on the level of control of your keywords and index terms you are using to describe the topicality of your information records (e.g. products, documents). Indexetera can develop and maintain the following vocabularies:

  • synonym lists
  • classifications
  • taxonomies
  • thesauri

Controlled vocabularies with different types of relations are of varying complexity, thesauri being the most sophisticated. However, even synonym control only makes a big difference when it comes to enhancing quality of vocabularies.

One of the above vocabularies or any hybrid can be developed even if your contents are not yet indexed or your vocabularies still being uncontrolled.

See also information about subject areas covered.

Use of controlled vocabularies

Controlled vocabularies can be used in various scenarios with different purposes, for example

  • glossaries
  • dictionaries
  • manuals
  • online help systems
  • portals
  • subject gateways
  • content management systems (CMS), including enterprise content management (ECM)
  • metadata (especially meta keywords)
  • site search engine optimization

In online environments, controlled vocabularies are either displayed via an interface or simply hidden in the background — the latter would be the case with site search engines. Performance of such engines, especially quality of search results and their presentation, can be considerably optimized thanks to controlled vocabularies (see also selected articles about site search engines).


Indexetera uses MultiTes, a thesaurus management software for constructing and maintaining controlled vocabularies. MultiTes allows for many input, editing, and output options including XML which in turn enables smooth export to other systems, such as databases, CMS, etc.


Vocabulary control is done according to leading standards (e.g. ISO). Indexetera uses checklists for synonym control; your vocabulary will be checked for existing and missing synonyms, and extended if need be.

Basic conditions

Type and purpose of vocabulary is the primary decision; apart from that, some of the basic issues are:

  • available time
  • size of vocabulary
  • types of relations
  • file format

Rates may vary widely depending on type and size of the project. Even so, a small thesaurus may be less expensive than a comprehensive list of synonyms. Projects can be charged at an hour or flat rate.

Please contact Indexetera for quotations on specific projects.