Card Sorting

Card Sorting is the user centered design process which involves sorting content into a groups or categories.

Two Methods of Card Sorting:

  • Open Ended Card Sorting: In this type of card sorting method there are no pre-defined groups or categories. Participants are told to group the cards and then name the group. Open Ended Card Sorting can be used to create base for Close Ended Card Sorting
  • Close Ended Card Sorting:In this type of card sorting method there are predefined groups or categories and participants are told to place the card in the category which they feel the card belongs to. This card sorting method is useful for modifying the existing structure.

Process of Card Sorting:

  • Write down piece of content or names of the items to be categorize on the index card.
  • Call the user near table and tell him to arrange the cards in the groups that make sense to him.
  • The group Names may or may not be predefined.
  • Repeat the exercise multiple times with different users (7-10) or Group of people(around 5-6 groups).
  • Gather the data and analyze.
  • Pay attention to the items where consensus exists as well as items where consensus does not exist.

How to prepare the card

  • Write name or piece of content on each card
  • Try to avoid ambiguity and increase more clarity.
  • Write small explanation about the content if required
  • Give same set of instructions to all participants
  • Randomize or shuffle the cards for each participant.
  • Write number on each card mostly in the right hand side corner
  • Make sure that all cards look identical
  • Provide additional blank cards when asked for

Advantages of Card Sorting Method

  • Inexpensive
  • Simple
  • Fast
  • Reliable and Established process
  • High user involvement





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