What it is
Card sorting is a simple user testing technique where users group information in a way that makes sense to them.
Why it’s useful
Card sorting is useful for structuring information based on users’ needs, for example arranging content on a website or online tool. Card sorting is a useful way to make sure you’re designing information in a way that works for users, rather than how your organisation thinks about it. Card sorting is used to inform information architecture, workflows, menu structures, or navigation for a website or online tool.
When to do it
Card sorting is particularly helpful when:
- There’s a range of information to organise and you need evidence to support the best approach
- Similar information or functions makes it difficult to divide them clearly into categories
- Members of the user group will be using the information very differently.
How to do it
- Before meeting with any users, write down the main pieces of content or information onto index cards or sticky notes.
- When you meet with the user, explain that you want them to sort the cards into groups that make sense to them.
- After the user has grouped the information, ask them to find a category name for each grouping.
- Repeat this process with multiple participants.
- Analyse all the test results to reveal patterns, and identify the structure of information that makes sense to most users.
- For help with selecting users, and how many to test with, see: Recruiting users.
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