Dump The Bucket

Greg Storey doesn’t like the word “bucket,” nor what it implies.

I just got off the phone with another in a long list of clients who used the word “bucket” several times during a conversation about information architecture. In olden times we used words like “categories” or “sections” but these new kids are dropping their own slang as if creating a website is the new rap-battle.
Does the word really work that much better than long established terms? No. The preferred word, “category”, is used to described “things having shared characteristics” while “bucket” is a “container”. One implies the relationship of things while the other is an object you put things in with absolutely no relationship implied.
Using the word “bucket” in web development is the equivalent of using the words “things” or “stuff” in conversation. In both cases details are hit-and-run over by the practice of subtle oversimplification. The result is an experience that lacks eloquence, education, and energy.

Storey goes on to say clients are increasingly playing the role of information architect; yet, rarely do they consider the user experience as one of the primary goals for their site.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I’d say things/people/concepts would be better described as being put in a “sieve”. Things/people/concepts that are rigid might stay in your predefined container, but the more fluid they are, the less likely they will remain where you put them.

  2. People use words like this because they think it makes them look smart, then because it makes them one of the gang.
    “Reach out” is reaching epidemic proportions as no one actually calls or talks to anyone anymore. They just “reach out” to them.