Sorting Things Out: An Introduction to Card Sorting

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Information about Sorting Things Out: An Introduction to Card Sorting
Technology

Published on March 5, 2009

Author: stephenpa

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Workshop on card sorting, presented at Ministry 2.0 in Austin, February 28th, 2009.

in g ort S gs Th ut O TOPIC SPEAKER An Presented Introduction by to Stephen P. Card Anderson Sorting

STEPHEN P. ANDERSON poetpainter.com I help businesses with ‘Product Strategy & Design’ needs

First, Some Context...

The User Experience Iceberg

The User Experience Iceberg > >

diary use business wireframes site maps cases discovery personas scenar content future inventory storyboards process scenarios mental design flows on directed models research interview nomenclature concept models Iterative alignment & Testing backcasting analysis gap prototypes field visit card sorting task based search log interaction design sketches audience analysis concepts usability segmentation evaluation competitive matrix

diary use business wireframes site maps cases discovery personas scenar content future inventory storyboards process scenarios mental design flows on directed models research interview nomenclature concept models Iterative alignment & Testing backcasting analysis gap prototypes field visit card sorting task based search log interaction design sketches audience analysis concepts usability segmentation evaluation competitive matrix

“efficient & effective”

WHAT IS IT? Card sorting is a user-centered design method for increasing a system’s findability. The process involves sorting a series of cards, each labeled with a piece of content or functionality, into groups that make sense to users or participants.

How Web Site people > Structure think

color? shape? height?

Why are most people coming to your church Web site? Are those people finding What they came for? Yes or no? How do you know?

What (or who) decided?

How can we insure that different people find what they’re looking for?

card sorting can help...

There are different ways to sort content. (And the best way may not be what you were thinking....)

Vegetables? pineapple tomato banana peach carrot apple eggplant grapes bell pepper Fruits?

“Seekers” & “Regular Attendees”

“Seekers” & “Regular Attendees”

WHY USE IT? It’s a quick, inexpensive, and reliable method, which serves as input into your information design process. Card sorting generates an overall structure for your information, as well as suggestions for navigation, menus, and possible taxonomies.

WHY IS IT USEFUL? You learn... ✓ how different people think about, organize, and expect to access your content ✓ a bit about the language/terminology used by a particular group

problems with labeling: “heart for the lost”

Uhm. This is a workshop on how to sort cards? Seriously?!

CARD SORTING IS “deceptively simple”

I’m pretty sure I know how to sort things in a way that will make sense to our site visitors... (No, you probably don’t!)

Open Sort / Closed Sort (which begs the question, “what is your goal?”)

DISCOVER Open Sort / Closed Sort (which begs the question, “what is your goal?”)

DISCOVER Open Sort / Closed Sort (which begs the question, “what is your goal?”) VALIDATE

WHAT GOES ON A CARD? “movie review of Dark Knight” VS “comments on a movie review”

WHAT GOES ON A CARD? “movie review of Dark Knight” ONE IS A PAGE, THE OTHER VS IS A PAGE ELEMENT “comments on a movie review”

WHAT GOES ON A CARD? “page listing of all smartphone” VS “Nokia N95”

WHAT GOES ON A CARD? “page listing of all smartphone” ONE OF THESE HAS ALREADY ENFORCED A CATEGORY... VS “Nokia N95”

WANNA GIVE IT A GO?

Sorry, you had to be there! This was a workshop conducted at the Ministry 2.0 conference in Austin, TX. If this seems useful or interesting to you, I am available for workshops, training and consulting. <wink, wink> More at www.poetpainter.com

quot;I don't recommend designing an information architecture based purely on a card sort's numeric similarity scores. .. Much of the value from card sorting comes from listening to the users' comments as they sort the cards: knowing why people place certain cards together gives deeper insight into their mental models than the pure fact that they sorted cards into the same pile.quot; -JAKOB NIELSON http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20040719.html

Preparing for a typical card sorting exercise requires the following: 1. Selecting content • current content areas • planned/future areas • free listing with participants 2. Selecting participants 3. Preparing the cards

Labels/descriptions should be short enough that participants can quickly read the card, yet detailed enough that participants can understand what the content is. other tips: use 3x5 cards about 5 people

TIPS: •run this session with actual site •make sure objects being sorted visitors!!! (no proxies!!) aren't themselves classifications-- make them sortable! •do use internally, to get different •don't expect the same results-- groups aligned on issues of labeling/ structure discrepancies are good •run with individuals and with groups •look for more info in the conversations than in the results •how someone would sort •be clear on your intentions-- something, and which areas they would actually use (or use more validating (closed sort) or learning often) are different! (open sort) •be clear about your labeling, use a •don't equate final card sort as your variety of labels an descriptions. site structure -- look at this as (mobile vs clamshell vs flipphone) - input. translation still required. unless you are testing labels, as well

http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/card_sorting_a_definitive_guide

Questions?

Thanks!! Stephen P. Anderson www.poetpainter.com www.slideshare.net/stephenpa

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