Content Chimera: Content Decisions. Content Exploration. At Scale.
Webinar March 4th, 2020: Better Content Transformations: Reducing Effort While Increasing Quality

What is Problem Duplication?

Key Points

  • Problem duplication is when content copies either 1) confuse using your information or 2) obscure the ideal content.
  • Don't be too narrow in thinking about duplication — *exact* copies are not as serious as other kinds of copies.
  • Close copies are the worst kind, since it may be difficult to determine which is the best version.
Related resource
Problem Content Duplication | Problem duplication, its causes, and how to fix it

What is problem duplication?

Problem duplication is when copies either 1) cause confusion in using your information or 2) obscure the ideal content with a copy.

In a sense, I think we should only care about duplication that is a problem, and expand our usage of the term “duplication” to include any copy that causes users problems (even if it isn’t an absolute clone). As with many problems, we can actually trip ourselves up by sticking too closely to narrow meanings. For instance, consider the following dialog (I have been a party to conversations like this):

So let’s think broadly about duplication for our end users’ sake (and, as discussed below, close copies are actually a major problem). 

What FORMS does duplication take?

Duplication takes many forms. Although implementation details can help to mitigate the impact, this is a rough scale (from left to right: least severe to most severe) of how problematic different forms of duplication are:

Minimize the number of copies and contextualize any that remain.

WHERE do users experience duplication?

The above describes what types of duplication exist in the system. But we do not care solely about duplication in the abstract. We care about how intranet and website users experience duplication, partially to simply understand the problem more but also so that we can utilize this information to reduce the impact of duplication (some of which is necessary) on users.

Intranet and website users experience duplication in the following ways:

Problem Content Duplication Problem duplication, its causes, and how to fix it