This article addresses the various methods for structuring categories when planning user experience and design strategies.
User experience considerations
Categories are a type of navigation page in the MindTouch self-organizing framework. Determining your exact structure takes some planning and thought. But regardless of how you plan to structure your site, you will create categories. If one or more levels of categories lead to your guides and articles, we recommend you use the simple view of categories at the top levels and use either the simple or the detailed view at the last level, depending on your users' needs.
For example, if your company has two products with two different variations of each product, then you would want to split your content into two separate top-level categories with second-level and third-level categories underneath each as necessary. To guide users quickly to your destination, create the two top-level categories as simply categories and possibly create the last (in this case third) category level as detailed categories so your users could see the guides contained within:
Articles (topics, references, and how-tos) should be contained in the guides of your hierarchy, not in categories.
Another consideration on whether to choose the simple versus the detailed category view may be the look and feel of your site and your users' preferred search behavior. Maybe you can better translate your design vision with a large icon, and opt for the Simple view. Or maybe you know that your users prefer to see the contents of your categories listed, in which case and you would choose the Detailed view. Either way, you will have to put some thought into which choice best suits your organization's needs.
Simple category view
Detailed category view