Card sorting

Organize content in a way that suits users’ mental models

applied for

Ideation

Research

Stakeholders

Users

Experts

Service Staff

System

Offering

Experience

Text

also called

Cluster analysis, Service taxonomy

what is it

Card sorting helps uncover user’s mental models for better information architecture, and understand how to organize information in a way so that other people can find it. In an open card sorting exercise, users are asked to cluster the cards based on affinities, and assign the name they want to each of the groups. While in a closed card sorting exercise, users are asked to organize the individual cards into predetermined categories. Card sorting can be either moderated or unmoderated by the facilitator, it can be counducted on paper or using digital tools.

use it to

Learn what items go together based on users’ mental models, or to test how intuitive specific labels are.

remember to

Limit the number of cards so it doesn’t become overwhelming, and randomize the order of presentation.

references

(2009) Donna Spencer, Card Sorting. Designing Usable Categories, Rosenfeld Media.

www.nngroup.com www.usability.gov www.interaction-design.org

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