Today I have been with menswear fashion store, Kent & Curwen working on the UX of their website. A great task to start introducing 'UX' to the team is card sorting - it shows the team how a simple task can be slightly complex when properly considered. Eye opening and quite a bit of fun :) it's also of course hugely insightful for me - the UX designer to see how best to navigate the categories within the website.
Below is a more in-depth explanation as to what Card Sorting is and the different forms to apply for any given situation.
1. What is card sorting?
Card sorting is a user research method for uncovering how people assimilate and classify information in your website allowing you to develop an effective information architecture and sitemap.
It is a simple and straightforward process where your participants / customers sort items into a classification. It can be used to label and group information in a website in a way that makes sense to the audience.
The card sort technique is very useful to websites with numerous categories such as educational institutions, online news agencies and e-commerce.
2. When to use card sorting
You can use card sorting when you are designing a new website or when you are updating an existing one.
It can be also be utilised to find out how your audience expect the information in the website to be grouped and classified.
You get to see how your customers rank or arrange items based on a set of criteria; and understand as well as compare how people conceptualise different ideas and items.
3. How to prepare for a card sort
The first step is to create a set of cards with each card representing a concept or item, and asking participants to classify and group the cards into categories that make sense to them.
4. What are the main types of card sort?
There are 3 main types of card sorting:
- open card sort
- closed card sort
- hybrid card sort
These serve different purposes depending on what you want to find out. Choosing the right method type at the right time is essential to gather high quality, relevant information for your design decisions. This then gives you insights into the nomenclature your target group uses.
Next steps >
- More open card sorting user testing with participants out of the business.
- Analysis of the collated information & feedback