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Don’t build your website structure on guesswork. The three card sorting techniques you can choose from — open, closed, and hybrid — will each tell you something different about how people understand and group your information. how many participants sorted the same cards into each category, the cards with the highest agreement on where they belong, and the cards with the lowest, which categories meant different things to different people (ie. The agreement score tells you the agreement level between the cards that participants placed in each category. This Time, It’s Personal. For example: The below list of characters is … Did people create categories similar to the ones we gave them, or did they take a different approach, you’ll get enough useful data to make informed decisions about your website, you’ll only be able to include the most relevant cards, and be forced (nicely) to discard the rest. What is Card Sorting? One basic algorithm for sorting is the Simple Sort. As such, the quantitative numbers you need for techniques like tree testing and first-click testing may not be your objective.Instead, you’ll want enough completed card sorts to get ideas and see consensus forming, and not too many that you’re overwhelmed with the data. Oftentimes, the algorithm defines a desired relationship between the input and output. Write each topic on an individual index card. You know you need closed card sorting if you want to: Aside from how you structure your website content, you can also use closed card sorting to prioritize and rank features, products, search filters, and so on based on criteria such as ‘Important’ to ‘Unimportant’, or ‘Use often’ to ‘Use never.’. Besides the first option hopefully being useful to you, you might get useful ideas for footer and sidebar facets from options two and three. We added a ninth category, ‘Not sure’, for articles that people didn’t think belonged anywhere. A closed card sort can be useful where labels are already set and you want to know how your users would place content within an already existing sitemap.. A closed card sort can be useful where labels are already set and you want to know how your users would place content within an already existing sitemap. The cards need to be on the same conceptual level and similar enough for participants to actually be able to sort them into groups. For an open sort, if possible consider requiring them to sort the cards, but perhaps not to label them, since that might be the more challenging part of the task, providing you have limited your items as suggested. Use self-adhesive labels and a word processor. For example, the card ‘Artificial intelligence lawn mower gets approval’ was placed by 34 out of 41 participants into the ‘Imagining the future category’: We also spotted some cards that participants were divided on, which tells us useful things about how people perceive the type of content. Provide instructions for the sort (whether open or closed) and let them know approximately how long the session should take to complete. Values from the unsorted part are picked and placed at the correct position in the sorted part. When you set much fewer categories than people need to sort all the cards, your hybrid card sort will lean towards open. Working collaboratively, or as a team, may quickly bring about grouping and labeling of main content areas. Well, a low agreement score isn’t the only number you can rely on to tell you something useful. The facilitator may brief the participants at the beginning and debrief the participants at the end, but the participant works alone for most of the session. The number and type of categories you set for a hybrid card sort will determine whether the card sort is more open or more closed. This is simply because narrowing down the most effective structure from 40 different suggested categorizations will probably be an easier task than from 200 different suggestions. © 2020 Optimal Workshop Ltd. All rights reserved. Open card sorting is a ‘generative’ exercise, rather than ‘evaluative’, as Donna points out — you’ll get the most from it when you’re starting to design a new website or starting to improve one you already have. Throughout this 101, we’ll illustrate how card sorting works with a project we created for this purpose. A useful way to explore the categories results and refine your data is to standardize categories that have similar labels (with different wording, spelling, capitalizations, and so on) and contain similar cards. If you see a sort with a 11/43 agreement score, it’s telling you that 10 other participants sorted their cards into groups similar to these ones. 878 Views. You need to balance the need to keep the time commitment to around 10 to 15 minutes with the need to provide sufficient context (enough similar cards) for groups to form. Analyze qualitative information based on user comments. Group dynamics might come into play and should be monitored. Card sorting is a very simple and well tested technique. Simple sorts; Efficient sorts; Simple Sorts. For example, When the cards are sorted by value with a stable sort, the two 5s must remain in the same order in the sorted output that they were originally in. What new categories did people create, and are they better than yours? Start by opening a spreadsheet and collecting all the possible concepts or items you could include in your card sort. Choosing the right technique at the right time is key to gathering high-quality, relevant data to inform your design decisions. Programming; Algorithms; 12 Comments. Card sorting tests concepts, not usability — so the cards themselves don’t need to be written in the most ‘usable’ format, or exactly as they are on your website.

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