One of the key objectives for businesses shifting to digital is making things better and faster. And one of the key questions is, how?
A digital asset management (DAM) system such as Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Assets could be the answer for your business. DAMs can deliver on a very strong promise: all of your assets—copy, creative, video, inventory, and more—in one location. That’s right, one source of truth. One place to go. In a recent post, Tom Cotter talked through the technical and high-level business benefits of a DAM. When companies employ a DAM and build processes around it, they can move a lot faster.
In our experience, one of the most critical parts of a successful DAM implementation is the information architecture (IA) of the assets themselves. We’ve previously discussed how information architecture is critical for digital success. Developing an IA strategy for your DAM acts as a turbo boost for your business goals. Here’s how.
Start Making Sense
The heart of IA is about sensemaking: ensuring the digital places and spaces we create truly make sense to everyone. Yet, different departments and different people will have different reasons for needing assets. For example, if I’m creating a landing page, I might need photography that aligns with our brand from our annual photo shoot; if I’m a developer, I might need a version of an icon that’s ready to go for mobile.
Our needs are different even if the assets are the same, and so, the labels and terms for our folders and metadata need to be relatable, understandable, learnable, and even intuitive. To a person familiar with a particular set of assets, a folder named, “2019_ARQ LORES_PRINT CAMP FINAL,” might make sense. But saying “2019 Audiobook Campaign” might make sense to more people—and be more readable, too!
It sounds simple, but starting by understanding how people work with assets and how they describe them in their own words through direct user research can be a gamechanger. That’s why our DAM IA Strategy work starts with workshops and discussions with the people who use these systems. It gives our team a sense of how people navigate what they’re using today, provides insights into ways things can be better, and gives them a stronger sense of ownership.