Today’s topic is technical, but handy – how to perform card sorting exercises to assist with categorizing topics for web usability. Card sorting at the most basic employs simple index cards that potential users sort into piles that make the most sense to them. Ideally, the users should be selected because they represent the population that is the user group identified for the site. There are also high tech ways to card sort remotely, but I am a lifelong fan of index cards (I still use them when writing research papers).
In any event, here are some marvelous resources:
- Information and Design Card Sorting Page
- Boxes and Arrows Card Sorting: a Definitive Guide
- Jakob Nielon on Card Sorting Technique
- WebSort Remote Card Sorting
- YouTube Video on How to Card Sort
In addition, consider using card sorting for projects beyond just web design. For arranging materials in your library in a user friendly manner or for classifying information of any kind. Index cards are not the only medium either. A magnetic board might be helpful or even a traditional story hour style felt board. Have fun!