Usability Testing With Card Sorting Information architecture is a big component of web design. What order should elements go in? Is there a visual hierarchy that must be followed? What should go where? Is the current navigational structure the most efficient? These are just some questions that a designer faces. Many designers construct websites based on their own views of how things should be ordered for the best results. Photo by Ivo Gomes. Card sorting is a usability methodology that has been used by information architects for years to organize web designs and web content more effectively. Why Use Card Sorting? Users might not agree with a designer about the way content and design elements should be organized. Card sorting is a free or inexpensive method that can be used to help determine optimal website layouts, navigation structure, wording of website copy, how to arrange blocks of text, and more. Designers using card sorting as part of usability testing should notice trends that could be beneficial. Open Card Sorting
Information design using card sorting Written by James Robertson, published February 19th, 2001 Categorised under: articles, usability & information architecture At the beginning of any information design exercise, it is normal to be confronted by a very long list of potential subjects to include. While careful investigation and analysis of the information may reveal some clues, it can be virtually impossible to determine which topics should be grouped together. The difficulty in organising the content stems from a lack of knowledge about how real users make use of this information. A card sorting session can go a long way towards resolving this problem. What is card sorting? In essence, card sorting works as follows: Write down each topic on a filing (index) card. This is a very simple, and often very effective, method of working with users to come up with a usable design. It should be noted, however, that a card sorting exercise does not produce a finished information design. Why use this method? Simple, and well understood.
Card Sorting | Usability Body of Knowledge The card sorting method is used to generate information about the associations and grouping of specific data items. Participants in a card sort are asked to organize individual, unsorted items into groups and may, depending on the technique, also provide labels for these groups. In a user-centered design process, it is commonly used when developing a site architecture but has also been applied to developing workflows, menus, toolbars, and other elements of system design. Sorting and grouping have long been studied within psychology and the research dates back at least to the 1950s. Information architecture: Strategies for analysis of card-sorting data for organizing information on the Census Bureau Web site Previous research showed that one of the major problems for users of the information-rich Census Bureau Web site was in locating or navigating to desired content. Card sorting was chosen as a way to improve the site. Two important aspects of the card-sorting study are reviewed in this paper: preparation of card labels and interpretation of the results.
Card Sorting Project Management (4) A project plan takes into account the approach the team will take and helps the team and stakeholders document decisions made regarding the objective, scope, schedule, resources, and... Creating an interdisciplinary team with the right mix of skills is vital to the smooth and successful execution of any project. Team members may be able to cover multiple roles or there may... Use your kick-off meeting to discuss the business case related to the site, the vision and mission based on user and organizational goals, and the vision for the site moving forward. Website requirements are a list of necessary functions, capabilities, or characteristics related to your website and the plans for creating it. User Research (14) When reporting results from a usability test, you should focus primarily on your findings and recommendations that are differentiated by levels of severity. Usability Evaluation (14) Information Architecture (4) User Interface Design (4)
Card Sorting Card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a site. In a card sorting session, participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and they may also help you label these groups. To conduct a card sort, you can use actual cards, pieces of paper, or one of several online card-sorting software tools. Benefits of Card Sorting Card sorting will help you understand your users' expectations and understanding of your topics. Build the structure for your website Decide what to put on the homepage Label categories and navigation Open and Closed Card Sorting Depending on your needs, you may choose to do an open or closed card sort. Open Card Sort: Participants are asked to organize topics from content within your website into groups that make sense to them and then name each group they created in a way that they feel accurately describes the content. You may also choose to try a combination of the two. Choosing a Technique Prepare the cards
Dancing with the Cards: Quick-and-Dirty Analysis of Card-Sorting Data By Shanshan Ma Published: September 20, 2010 “User researchers frequently use card sorting to understand how users perceive the structure of a Web site and the ideal way for them to navigate through the site.” User researchers frequently use card sorting to understand how users perceive the structure of a Web site and the ideal way for them to navigate through the site. Usually card sorting starts with doing an inventory of a Web site’s content, then creating a card for each stand-alone piece of content. Researchers recruit participants for a card sort from a Web site’s target audience, then ask them to group the cards into categories that make sense to them. There are two methods of card sorting: open card sorting and closed card sorting. Challenges of Card Sorting “In practice, I have found that, while card sorting is easy to conduct, it presents several challenges that likely prevent researchers from using this method more.” A Recent Experience Step 1: Identify the Common Categories Summary
Planning And Implementing Website Navigation - Smashing Magazine Advertisement The thing that makes navigation difficult to work with in Web design is that it can be so versatile. Navigation can be simple or complex: a few main pages or a multi-level architecture; one set of content for logged-in users and another for logged-out users; and so on. Because navigation can vary so much between websites, there are no set guidelines or how-to’s for organizing navigation. Designing navigation is an art in itself, and designers become better at it with experience. Organizing Navigation Structure Perhaps the most difficult part about navigation on the Web is organizing and designing it. Primary vs. Most websites, especially those with a lot of content or functionality, need navigation menus. 1SpeckyBoy2 You might assume that the primary and secondary navigations are marked in a wrong way on the image above, but I believe that this is not the case. Primary navigation stands for the content that most users are interested in. Information Architecture: Card Sorting