Topic Area Consolidation Means Askers Get Solutions Faster

Posted by · March 4, 2014 10:33 am

When it comes to member enhancements on Experts Exchange 2014, we’re just getting started. In our latest release, we’ve taken our 934 topic areas and consolidated them to a much more user-friendly number of 304.  This change will help you get your questions answered faster than ever before and will also make it easier to navigate the site.

How do topic areas work? Whenever you post a question, you label it with the topic area topic areasthat best describes your concern. This topic area label is key to routing your question to the right experts.

Each expert saves searches for the topic areas that interest them. The experts who are watching the topic area you specified will receive an email or on-site notification the instant that your question comes in, so they can answer your question quickly. If a question has no topic area or a topic area that is seldom used, a moderator moves the question so that it is not overlooked. This additional step increases the response time for that question.

Before the consolidation, it was sometimes hard for askers to choose the best topic area. They might not know the exact cause of the problem and there were, after all, over 900 possible choices! In addition, some of the topic areas were for minor products or for minor or very specific areas of software. If askers used these topic areas, some experts might overlook their questions because they were watching broader areas.

How did we determine which topic areas to consolidate? First, our engineers evaluated asker and expert activity for every topic area. They learned that some minor, very specific topic areas were rarely, if ever, used. We then consolidated these topic areas into their parents. For example, “Mac OS Leopard 10.5” and “Mac OS Snow Leopard 10.6” are now merged into their parent topic, “Mac OS.”

In the consolidation, we took care to preserve all content. We also reorganized the topic tree to optimize site navigation. The result? Members, experts, and moderators are now all served better through efficient organization.

If you ever have trouble writing up your questions, our guide on “How to Succeed at EE as an Asker” has great tips to help you get the solutions you need.