Pearson Taxonomy

Creating a Framework for Pearson's Training Content and Resources


Senior Content Developer (Project Lead)


Information Architecture, Content Analysis


Training and Development - Content Team


October 2022 - February 2024 


As a senior content developer at Pearson, I led the initiative to enhance the organization's enrollment assistance resources by implementing a robust taxonomy framework. The objective was to improve the organization and accessibility of content used to train employees assisting families with enrollment, as well as external knowledge base articles (KBAs) for customers navigating the enrollment experience.


This project presented five challenges.

Content Fragmentation

Pearson's enrollment assistance resources were dispersed across various platforms and formats, leading to fragmentation and inconsistency in content classification.

Ineffective Knowledge Management

The lack of a unified taxonomy framework hinders knowledge management efforts, resulting in difficulties in organizing, accessing, and utilizing enrollment assistance content for both employees and families.

Limited Discoverability

Employees struggle to discover relevant resources due to inadequate search functionality and poor metadata tagging, while families face challenges in finding the information they need in KBAs.


With ongoing updates and expansions in enrollment processes, Pearson required a taxonomy framework that could adapt and scale effectively to accommodate future changes.

Communication and Satisfaction

Inefficient content discovery processes result in decreased employee productivity and satisfaction, as well as frustration for families trying to navigate the enrollment process.


How can we create a taxonomy to better organize Pearson's training materials and KBAs, ensuring they are accurate, consistent, and easy to find for both Pearson's employees and external users?


The primary objective is to create a hierarchal framework that classifies all content assets and explains how the business leverages the content to support clients (schools), staff (agents), and customers (families/students) as well as achieve desired business goals. 


To create the taxonomy, I had to take a backward approach since there was a already significant amount of diverse content assets dispersed across various platforms and formats. This involved:

Information Gathering

The first 1.5 months of the project were dedicated to gathering information about the existing content library and understanding the business. This involved:


Knowledge Base Audit

Due to the overwhelming amount of knowledge base articles, I found it necessary to streamline and optimize the content inventory by eliminating at least 50% of the entries. This elimination process ensured that only the most relevant and essential KBAs were retained, aligning with the overarching goal of creating a streamlined and organized taxonomy framework.

In our process of eliminating KBAs, I adhered to specific guidelines to ensure that the retained content was relevant, up-to-date, and of high quality:

By applying these guidelines meticulously, we were able to streamline the knowledge base, ensuring that the taxonomy was built upon a foundation of high-quality, relevant, and up-to-date resources, thereby enhancing its effectiveness in assisting schools, staff, and families 

Taxonomy Design and Building

The taxonomy was structured around Pearson's organizational hierarchy. This hierarchical approach ensured that the taxonomy aligned closely with Pearson's organizational structure and business operations. Each level of the taxonomy hierarchy corresponded directly to a specific aspect of Pearson's business framework:

First iteration of the standard taxonomy.

In contrast to the previous taxonomy, which was too specific to individual teams or systems, this taxonomy took a more high-level approach. By categorizing content based on business units, divisions, functions, sub-functions, and processes, this taxonomy provided a broader perspective on Pearson's operations. This high-level framework facilitated a more comprehensive understanding of how training content related to different aspects of Pearson's business framework, allowing for greater flexibility and scalability in content organization.

Content Labeling

In the content labeling phase, we established a systematic approach to labeling and tagging content within the taxonomy framework. This process involved:


After completing this phase, I implemented the following taxonomic labeling system that standardized the categorization and tagging of content:


Testing and Revision

Following the development of the taxonomy framework, a crucial phase involved testing and revising the taxonomy to ensure its effectiveness, usability, and alignment with stakeholders' needs. The taxonomy was applied in the following ways:

By subjecting the taxonomy to these rigorous testing methods, any inconsistencies or inefficiencies were identified and addressed through iterative revisions, ultimately ensuring that the taxonomy effectively met the needs of stakeholders and optimized content management workflows.


The implementation of the taxonomy framework yielded several significant results and benefits:


The latest iteration of the taxonomy signifies a significant milestone, demonstrating its immediate impact and pivotal role across various operational facets. Despite its iterative nature, the taxonomy has already showcased remarkable utility, driving improvements in content organization, user experience, project management efficiency, and overall operational effectiveness. This proves the versatility and effectiveness of the taxonomy, positioning it as a cornerstone for ongoing enhancements and future scalability within the organization.


The journey of developing the taxonomy went far beyond simply organizing content; it became a story of transformation and empowerment within our organization. Initially conceived to streamline content management, the taxonomy soon revealed its broader potential, influencing how we approach workflows, decision-making, and user engagement. It was like watching a puzzle come together, each piece contributing to a clearer picture of our organizational landscape.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the taxonomy's implementation was its impact on user experiences. Seeing how colleagues quickly found the information they needed underscored the taxonomy's ability to support our growing needs and evolving processes. It wasn't just about making tasks easier in the present moment; it was about ensuring that we had a solid framework in place to accommodate future growth and changes. Reflecting on this journey, it's evident that the taxonomy has transcended its initial purpose, becoming a testament to our commitment to adaptability, innovation, and long-term success.


Implementing a robust taxonomy not only streamlines current processes but also lays a strong foundation for future scalability, adaptability, and organizational success.