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Card sorting tests

Last updated on Jan 31, 2024

Key Points;

  • What is Card sorting

  • Why Card sorting matters

  • Planning your Card sorting project

  • Conducting card sorting sessions

  • Interpreting and implementing card sorting results

  • Best practices for card sorting

What is Card Sorting?

Card sorting is a user-centered design method used to understand how users categorize and group information. Participants are asked to organize content items (usually represented on physical or digital cards) into meaningful categories, helping to inform the structure and organization of a website or application.

Why Card Sorting Matters

Card sorting is essential for:

  • Improving information architecture and navigation.

  • Enhancing the user experience and findability of content.

  • Ensuring that the structure aligns with user mental models.

Crowd has 1 type of card sorting:

  • Closed Card Sorting: Participants sort cards into predefined categories.

Planning Your Card Sorting Project

  • Defining Objectives and Scope

    Determine the specific objectives of your card-sorting project. What aspect of your website or product's structure do you want to improve? Clearly define the scope of your card sorting study.

  • Identifying Your Target Audience

    Identify the target audience or user group for whom you are optimizing the information structure. Ensure that participants represent this group accurately.

  • Preparing the Materials

    Create the cards or digital representations of content items that participants will sort. Ensure these items are clear and accurately represent your website's content.

Conducting Card Sorting Sessions

  • Selecting Participants

    Recruit participants who are representative of your target audience. Aim for a diverse group to ensure a wide range of perspectives.

  • Gathering and Analyzing Results

    Administer the card sorting sessions, and collect participants' feedback and sorting data. Analyze the data to identify trends, clusters, and patterns.

Interpreting and Implementing Card Sorting Results

  • Analyzing the Data

    Analyze the results to identify trends and common groupings. Understand how participants perceive the organization of your content.

  • Revising Your Information Architecture

    Based on the findings, revise the information architecture of your website or product to align with user preferences and expectations.

  • Testing the Revised Structure

    Implement the changes to your website or product, and conduct usability testing to validate the revised information structure.

Best Practices for Card Sorting

  • Clear Communication

    Communicate the purpose of the card sorting study to participants, and provide them with instructions on how to perform the task.

  • Iterative Approach

    Card sorting is often most effective when conducted iteratively. Continue to refine your information structure based on ongoing feedback.

  • Collaboration

    Involve stakeholders and team members in the card-sorting process to ensure that design decisions are well-informed and aligned with the project's objectives.

  • Ethical Considerations

    Respect ethical guidelines during card sorting, including obtaining informed consent and ensuring that participant data is handled securely and privately.

By following these guidelines and best practices from Crowd, you can conduct card sorting studies that provide valuable insights and result in a more user-centered and navigable information architecture.