You should have an understanding of the subject areas to be addressed by your topic design and be familiar with the search requirements of users at your site. The next step is to understand your informational needs, as well as the document types to be searched.
In planning your initial topic design, keep in mind that you are developing a strategy, and the topics you define are the tactics you will use to implement that strategy.
As you develop your strategy, try to answer the following questions:
What do you wish to gain by using a Verity search agents?
What issues are to be solved by Verity search agents?
Who will use search agents?
What kind(s) of source material will be used?
What kinds of searches will be performed?
How are searches currently being performed?
Consider the topics you define as questions to be asked. Just as you might ask a reference librarian at your local library for information relating to a subject area, the topics you create should pose questions when creating Verity search agents.
When considering your strategy, and how Verity search applications will be implemented to provide a solution, keep in mind that a topic you design performs several roles, as follows:
A research assistant
An information repository
A knowledge base