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Process to define the 15 classes

The structure of the EC branded web presence is based on extensive external user research with stakeholders (DGs and people using EC websites) between September 2014 and February 2015.


In 2014, people visiting Commission websites were polled to establish the most important reasons why they interact with the organisation. The poll was based on a list of 77 Commission-wide user tasks distilled from an original list of 1,700 tasks, collectively agreed by all DGs. The poll was carried out in 24 languages and received more than 100,000 valid responses.


The poll revealed the main audiences interacting with the EC online, and their 'top tasks':

  • most visitors were using the Commission websites for professional reasons
  • the six top tasks were: EU law, rules, treaties, judgments; Research and innovation; Funding, grants, subsidies; Education and training in the EU; EU strategy, political priorities; Environmental protection

The solidity and consistency of the poll results provided a strong case to build a common information architecture for the European Commission to address some areas prompting low satisfaction levels among users, for example what users saw as confusing menus and links.

See Factsheet digital transformation user survey for more information.

Information architecture

The next stage of the process involved:

  • developing a first structure hypothesis with classes, ie content grouped by theme, covering the distilled list of 77 tasks
  • testing and refining the structure with people representative of the typical audience profiles - some 6,000 test volunteers were invited to take part
  • iterating on the structure until the testers achieved an 80-90% success rate. (Each test iteration was followed by a collective review meeting with colleagues from DGs.)

Success was achieved after 4 iterations of testing.

Top-level classification

The outcome of the process was a top-level classification for the European Commission website, comprising 15 'classes'.


Factsheet digital transformation user survey with tasks.pdf

Report on common architecture level 1

Report on common architecture level 1-executive_summary.pdf

Contact and support

If you require further assistance, please contact:

Comm Europa Management

European Commission
DG Communication 
Unit B.3 
Europa Web Communication 

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