Over the past few years I have been slowly developing and refining a spreadsheet I use for analysis of card sorts. If a card was put into two or more groups by way of that hierarchy, make sure each cells gets a 1. Users are then asked to organize those cards into groups that make sense to them. trailer There are two common card sorting techniques. Find out how people think your content should be organized and categorized. You can pick any number between 2 and as many cards as you’ve analyzed. It contains information on how to set up the spreadsheet, print card labels, enter the results and, most importantly, analyse the data. 0000002514 00000 n Card sorting is also evaluated through dendrograms. Different participants will give different names to different groups. Originally a stand-alone project, UX Suite was integrated into the Usability … developers? In sum, the results you achieve during any open card sort data are “fuzzy:” both qualitative and semantically inconsistent. Next, create a column for each content/functionality card used in your sort. Assign a row to each participant’s group and then sub-divide these rows by participant. In a card sort, participants create groups from content or objects and label the groups they generate. Card sorting plays a dual role, both as a design and engagement tool. The columns other than “Participant” and “Group” are given names that correspond with your cards. That in turn helps us better structure our products and websites. Card sorting is a common user research technique. Choose a set of topics. Shuffle the cards and give them to the participant. I have used it on many projects and find it invaluable for helping me manage the data and spot patterns. Ask the user to look at the cards one at a time and place cards t… 0000018837 00000 n In a typical card sorting session, participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and group them accordingly. Once you have a working installation of R, fire it up and you’ll see that it uses a text-based interface. %PDF-1.5 %���� User organizes topics into groups. The usual result is a graphical display called a dendrogram, or sometimes 'dendrogram', which has its roots (literally) in the Greek word for 'tree', which is 'dendron'. Step 2: Create a Matrix. Just copy and paste the following code into R and press the enter key: Figure 2: The functions for card sorting copied and pasted into R. This code you just entered contains three functions: compare, getJaccard and cardsort. Traditionally, card sorting is as low-tech as it gets, requiring no advanced technology or software. 0000028338 00000 n In the screenshot above, you can see that the first participant (P1) created five (5) groups and the second (P2) created six (6) groups. To bring rigor to the process, I’ll explain a way to analyse open card sort data using R, an open source statistics language. A Quick-and-Dirty Method of Analyzing and Explaining Card-Sorting Results Step 1: Identify the Common Categories. First, let’s use Excel, OpenCalc, or any other spreadsheet program and prepare the results of our recently finished open card sort. Checking is of course a boring task but you need to be certain that what you’ve entered is correct – there’s no way to tell if you made a typo later on! Card sort data should inform the design rather than dictate it. 2. The final function, cardsort, runs a cluster analysis on the similarity matrix to create a chart called a dendrogram. Don’t worry, because all the commands you need are here in this article. In "Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories," Donna Spencer shows you how to plan and run a card sort, analyze the results, and apply the outcomes to your projects. Usability Tools - UX Suite. I tend to start with 3 and see what the main groups are, then repeat the analysis and increase the number incrementally until I feel happy that the groupings are making sense. Card sorting is a user-centered design method for increasing a system’s findability. Save your spreadsheet and then double-check your data. Assign a row to each participant’s group and then sub-divide these rows by participant. Getting Started. 0000028269 00000 n managers? The process required actual cards, pieces of paper or online card-sorting software tools. Product Feature Prioritization — also known as card sorting — is a quick way to prioritize a long list of potential features and is a great way to create a shortlist of features early on in the product development process. It helps you create information that is easy to find and understand. Create a number of rows equal to the total number of groupsthat resulted from your study. 0000027992 00000 n xref 0 Next, mark whether each group contains a given card. Instead, you may better go for one of the task switching or N-back tasks. The spreadsheet does not collect the card sorting data–it is purely for analysis of data collected with physical cards. 0000007812 00000 n Because they belong to the first participant’s fifth group – the row marked in red – they get a 1 where they intersect and a 0 elsewhere. �MHJ����m``. The participants could end up being stakeholders, super users, or intranet champions. Card sorting is used in designing and evaluating how the information architecture should be structured, how the topics should be organized into categories and how information should be labelled. Card Sorting: Organizing & Understanding Complex Data Defining, analyzing, and validating information architecture. In this article we'll discuss what information architecture is, why it's related to usability, and what are the common tools/programs used in information architecture. Example graph visualization features for card-sorting analysis. 0000012895 00000 n The set should include 40­–80 items that represent the main content on the site. It’s also possible to show people each group of cards and ask them what name they think summarizes the group succinctly. Complete beginner’s guide to design research, Designing for Mobile, Part 1: Information Architecture, The Difference Between Information Architecture and UX Design, Complete Beginner's Guide to Information Architecture. Create a table with a number of columns equal to the number of groupings used in your chart. The analysis of card sorting data helps user experience (UX) designers to discover the patterns in how users make classifications and thus to develop an optimal, user-centred website structure. 0000010282 00000 n Open your spreadsheet program of choice and create two column headers: Participant and Group. 0000028950 00000 n Tip: Avoid topics that contain the same words; participants will tend to group those cards together. The best known freely available automated card sorting tools (EZSort and WebCAT, for example) cannot work with item sets of this size. 0000028591 00000 n How do the people browsing and/or searching this site think about its content? Card sorting was traditionally used for assessing information architecture. Then run a closed card sort using these new categories, and see how easy it is for users to fit existing content into them. 0000001823 00000 n A recent study by Chaparro et al(2008) suggested that WebSort is the most preferred tool by researchers to conduct an online card sort. Card sorting analysis spreadsheet. 0000002002 00000 n During card sorting sessions, participants are generally instructed to organize topics into categories that make sense to them. The second function, getJaccard, uses the compare function to create a matrix where each item's similarity to every other item is recorded. The type of cluster analysis performed by most card sorting tools is 'hierarchical cluster analysis' or HCA. Compared to traditional card sorting methods, OptimalSort cuts back the required preparation and analysis time. Card sorting is a low-tech method designed to assist in evaluating the information architecture of a site. You can make a card sort more fun (more game-like) by introducing a tight timeline, prizes for the first to finish or prizes for the most innovative labelling. 0000004643 00000 n The resulting groups and names are the foundations of your site’s IA as specified by its users. The Cards table for closed card sorts. R then dutifully generates a chart: Figure 3: The dendrogram with 4 clusters outlined. I've made sure the time and date are shown as the chart’s title, so if you run lots of card sorts you can tell when you did each one. Try card sorting for yourself Similarity matrix. The following sections discuss the sample data used in this study, the visualization process, the analysis of the data, the results, and … 0000028565 00000 n Card sorting is a research technique used to help organize complex information into intuitive,... Methods. Case Study. Next, title the columns with group names given by participants in your original study. In the example above, I’ve loaded a csv file called ‘data.csv’ and asked for 4 clusters. The purpose of the analysis is to extract patterns from the population of test subjects, so that a common set of categories and relationships emerges. 0000000016 00000 n This is known as a similarity matrix. 0000004171 00000 n For example, if two participants created three groups each, you’d have six rows. The main quantitative data from a card sorting study is a set of similarity scores that measures the similarity of user ratings for various item pairs. You can use it in UX research, Information Architecture Design, etc. x�b```b``�``��� cc`a�����$���� �������7��\��� Figure 1 exhibits the final row/column structure more clearly: Figure 1: example of cards entered into spreadsheet. To conduct a card sort, you can use actual cards, pieces of paper, or one of several online card-sorting software tools. 0000006257 00000 n Topics: Resources. Build on data, not assumptions Don’t … 327 0 obj <> endobj Knowing how to correctly structure and analyze that data can help architects attain the perfection they seek. Information architecture is an often misunderstood job title. The compare function works out the similarity of any two items by taking the number of times both were put into the same group and dividing by the same number plus the total number of times the cards were put elsewhere. Take note of where you put it; we’ll need it in just a moment. This will be useful for further reference. The original Wisconsing Card Sorting Test was developed for use with patients with brain damage. Remember that this information is just the starting point. If all of this makes your head spin, the good news is that you only need to issue one more command to make it all work: The cardsort function takes two parameters: (1) a string that indicates the location of the CSV file we created earlier and (2) an integer that indicates the number of groups to highlight in the dendrogram. Open your spreadsheet program of choice and create two column headers: Participant and Group. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) is a neuropsychological test that is frequently used to measure such higher-level cognitive processes as attention, perseverance, WM, … Column Q, for example, is called ‘See portfolio’ when it actually represents a page where users could view a portfolio of products online. %%EOF The process involves sorting a series of cards, each labeled with a piece of content or functionality, into groups that make sense to users or participants. This Time, It’s Personal. 0000043657 00000 n 0000001642 00000 n To do this, information architects need to first query their users. Consider using abbreviations here because, later on, we’ll display these names in a chart where longer names are unlikely to fit well (16 characters is a good length). If you want to find out how to run a card sort, we’ve put together a guide that covers everything you need to know, from setting up the cards to analyzing the results. … The template was developed as an analysis tool for interpreting the results of a card-sort exercise involving more than 100 items and approximately fifteen participants. According to Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, card sorting “can provide insight into users’ mental models, illuminating the way that they often tacitly group, sort and label tasks and content within their own heads.” Card sorting is a great, reliable, inexpensive m… 0000011419 00000 n The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Theoretical Analysis and Modeling in a Neuronal Network. For example, if two participants created three groups each, you’d have six rows. Although we in this profession often rely on small “n” qualitative data, card sorting is … Various methods can be used to analyze the data. Some elements – like “sign in” and “sign out” – often need to be available across our groups. Whether you’ve run an open, hybrid or closed card sort online using an information architecture tool or you’ve run an in person (moderated) card sort, it can be a bit daunting trying to figure out where to start the card sort analysis process. Run an open card sort with one group of users to define the top-level categories. Card labels are coded with a number for easy reference. Card sorting is an effective, easy-to-use method for understanding how people think about content and categories. 0000003560 00000 n Card sort survey participants rank your list of potential product features so that you have all the information you need to make important product decisions. Card sorting is a very simple and well tested technique. Hierarchical Card Sorting: A Tool for Qualitative Research This paper by Rick Davies from the Centre for Development Studies describes the use of hierarchical card sorting as a way to elicit the views of development sector staff to gain an understanding of their perceptions of the world around them. Are they designers? If the participant created a hierarchy, make sure each level has its own row. By way of example, the following table shows an information structure using the results of the above analysis. It is probably not so useful to compare executive control function in healthy people. Be sure to save a PDF copy of the chart by clicking “File” → “Save as…”. 327 33 Open card sorts are particularly difficult to analyze because they produce a variety of content structures. The author wishes to thank Andrew Maier for his contributions to the structure and thinking behind this article. If it doesn’t, it gets a 0. “Person 1” put cards A, B and C in a group called “transactions” but “person 2” put cards A and C in a group called ‘cash” and B in a group called “transfers.” Are these the same thing, really? Analyzing them in the rigorous, quantitative way that we’ve discussed helps remove researcher bias and point the way towards the perfect content structure. All of the above? And unlike card sorting for public websites, the participants in an intranet card sorting exercise are your users and will return to the site day after day (hopefully). 359 0 obj<>stream For a closed card sort, you’ve already predetermined the categories. You can try and make sense of it by identifying common traits across participants but there is always some guesswork involved. Start your subscription today for free. During analysis, the recurrence of patterns of classification between … Generally, the process works as follows: 1. December 22, 2007. Finally, delete the first 2 columns (“Participant” and “Group”) and then save the spreadsheet as a CSV (comma separated value) file. 0000003299 00000 n One of the biggest problems facing information architects (IAs) today is crafting the perfect content hierarchy, one that quickly gets users to the information they’re looking for. If you used physical cards for the test, either photograph the sort or use the numbers on the cards … 0000007668 00000 n About this … The rest of the work is done in a program called “R.” R is a free download with versions for all major operating systems. For the uninitiated: a card sort involves a bunch of cards, each representing a different function and/or content-type from the site being studied. 0000002867 00000 n We can use that to understand how they think about categories and ideas for labelling. In case of a digital card sorting you skip the data input stage and can get a dendrogram of the card sorting data analysis … You can learn the vocabulary surrounding card sorting in our Complete beginner’s guide to design research or checkout Donna Spencer and Todd Warfel’s Card sorting: a definitive guide for something more comprehensive. Next, create a column for each content/functionality card used in your sort. In Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories, Donna Spencer shows you how to plan and run a card sort, analyze the results, and apply the outcomes to your projects. This measure ranges from 0.0 to 1.0 with higher scores meaning greater similarity. Card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate information architecture. Write each topic on an individual index card. Now let’s put our dendrogram to good use. <]>> 0000012143 00000 n It helps you create information that is easy to find and understand. If all users sorted two cards into the same pile, then the two items represented by the cards would have 100% similarity. The following are suggestions that UX practitioners can use in their own card sorting analysis: Use online card sorting tools to more easily collect data from a larger sampling of participants.
2020 card sorting analysis