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Card Sorting

What is Card Sorting?

Card sorting is a UX research method used to understand how users categorize and organize information by asking them to group and sort content or concepts on physical or digital cards into meaningful categories or groups.

Why is Card Sorting important?

Card sorting is used in UX research for several reasons:

Information Architecture: Card sorting helps in understanding how users perceive and categorize information, which can inform the design of an intuitive and effective information architecture for websites, apps, or other digital products.

Content Organization: Card sorting provides insights into how users expect content or concepts to be organized, helping designers structure information in a logical and user-friendly manner.

Navigation Design: Card sorting can inform the design of navigation menus, labels, and links, ensuring that they align with users' mental models and expectations, making it easier for them to find and access desired content.

Usability Testing: Card sorting can be used as part of usability testing to evaluate the effectiveness of an existing information architecture or navigation structure, and identify areas of improvement.

User Input and Feedback: Card sorting allows users to provide input and feedback on how they would like to interact with content, which can be invaluable in designing user-centered experiences.

How to use Card Sorting?

Here are the general steps to conduct a card sorting exercise:

Define Objectives: Clearly define the objectives of the card sorting exercise, such as what information or concepts you want to gather insights on, and how the findings will inform your design decisions.

Select Participants: Identify and recruit representative participants who are the intended users of the product or website. Aim for a diverse group to capture a wide range of perspectives.

Prepare Cards: Create physical or digital cards with the content or concepts to be sorted. Keep them concise, clear, and easy to read. Avoid biasing the results with predetermined categories.

Choose Method: Decide on the type of card sorting method to be used, such as open card sorting, where participants create their own categories, or closed card sorting, where participants sort into predefined categories.

Conduct the Exercise: Provide instructions to participants on how to perform the card sorting exercise. Allow them to sort the cards into categories as they see fit, and provide any additional information or feedback they may have.

Collect Data: Record the results of the card sorting exercise, including the categories created, the cards sorted into each category, and any comments or feedback from participants.

Analyze Results: Analyze the data collected to identify patterns, trends, and insights. Look for common groupings, naming conventions, and preferences expressed by participants.

Interpret Findings: Interpret the findings in the context of your objectives and use them to inform your design decisions, such as structuring information architecture, content organization, and navigation design.

Iterate and Refine: Use the insights gained from the card sorting exercise to iterate and refine your design, and conduct further usability testing or validation to validate and optimize the information architecture or navigation structure.

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About Akendi

Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.