is card sorting?
Card sorting is
an interviewing technique that allows designers to explore the user's
mind to discover what and where they see things together in a hierarchical
structure such as a menu. It is grounded on the idea that the organization
of information on user interfaces should be based on the cognitive
models of users rather than the intuition of designers. Its main
goal is to assist in the creation of structures that will enhance
the probability of users being able to find information.
Card sorting consists of the following steps:
- Identify the set of keywords/topics
to be categorized.
- Write each keyword/topic
on an index card.
- For each user
- Shuffle the cards and
have the user organize the cards into piles.
- After the piles are
created, the user is asked to give each pile a meaningful
- Collect and analyze
the groupings obtained from the users to identify commonalities
among them. This is generally achieved by running a cluster
analysis algorithm over the data.
The technique is time consuming
to apply (especially with large sets of cards) and its results can
be tedious to analyze if the data have to be transcribed to the
computer to analyze the groupings.