Card sorting is a user-centered design method for increasing a system’s findability. The process involves sorting a series of cards, each labeled with a piece of content or functionality, into groups that make sense to users or participants.
There are two main types of card sorting exercise:
Open Card Sorting:
Participants are given cards showing site content with no pre-established groupings. They are asked to sort cards into groups that they feel are appropriate and then describe each group. Open card sorting is useful as input to information structures in new or existing sites and products
Closed Card Sorting:
Participants are given cards showing site content with an established initial set of primary groups. Participants are asked to place cards into these pre-established primary groups. Closed card sorting is useful when adding new content to an existing structure, or for gaining additional feedback after an open card sort.
|Research Type||Sample Size||Session Time|
|Hybrid, Attitudinal, Formative||Medium (7 - 10 participants)||30 - 60 minutes|
In-person card sort participant instructions:
Here’s how it works. In front of you is a stack of cards. Those cards represent the content and functionality for this (web site, product). Working together, you should try and sort the cards into groups that make sense to you. Don’t worry about trying to design the navigation; we’ll take care of that. Also, don’t be concerned with trying to organize the information as it is currently organized on your (web site, product). We’re more interested in seeing how you would organize it into groups you would expect to find things in.
Once your groups are established, we’d like to have you give each group a name that makes sense to you. You are allowed to make sub-groups if you feel that’s appropriate. If you feel something is missing, you can use a blank index card to add it. Additionally, if a label is unclear, feel free to write a better label on the card. Finally, if you think something doesn’t belong, you can make an “outlier” pile.
Oh, and one last thing. Feel free to ask questions during the exercise if you feel the need. I can’t guarantee that I can answer them during the exercise, but I’ll do my best to answer them when you’re finished.
Created by: Joe Steinkamp | Last updated by: Joe Steinkamp