What's Card Sorting in User Experience Research? | Summary and Q&A

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April 30, 2019
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PlaybookUX
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What's Card Sorting in User Experience Research?

TL;DR

Card sorting is a research method for organizing information into intuitive groups, helping to improve website navigation and usability.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is card sorting and how can it improve website navigation?

Card sorting is a research method for organizing information into intuitive groups, allowing researchers to understand how users expect content to be organized and improve website navigation. By conducting card sorting exercises, researchers can gather insights on how users group and categorize information, helping to create a user-friendly experience.

Q: What are the three types of card sorting?

The three types of card sorting are open, closed, and hybrid. In open card sorting, participants create their own categories and label them. Closed card sorting involves predefined categories provided to participants for sorting. Hybrid card sorting combines both predefined and participant-created categories.

Q: What are the advantages of moderated card sorting?

Moderated card sorting allows researchers to have one-on-one sessions with participants, enabling them to ask for the rationale behind their groupings. This method provides a deeper understanding of participants' decision-making processes and allows for immediate clarification on any unclear groupings.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of paper card sorting?

Paper card sorting is intuitive for participants and allows for easy manipulation of a large number of cards. However, it requires manual documentation by researchers and takes more time for analysis. It may also be challenging to view everything with a single view, especially if there are many cards.

Q: What are the advantages of digital card sorting?

Digital card sorting can analyze results from multiple participants efficiently and reveal common groupings. It eliminates the need for manual documentation and analysis. However, technology issues can cause frustration, and it may lack the intuitive experience of paper card sorting.

Q: How many items should be included in a card sorting exercise?

Each set of cards should include 40 to 80 items representing the main content on the website. This range allows for enough variety and meaningful categorization without overwhelming participants.

Q: How can participants be encouraged to provide honest feedback during card sorting?

Participants can be asked to think out loud while categorizing and provide their rationale for groupings. This helps researchers understand their thought process and gather more insights. By ensuring a comfortable and non-judgmental environment, participants are more likely to provide honest feedback.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Card sorting is a user experience technique used to organize sets of information into intuitive groups.

  • It helps researchers understand how users expect content to be organized and improve navigation usability.

  • There are three types of card sorting: open, closed, and hybrid, each with its own approach and benefits.

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