Card Sorting

Card Sorting is a specialised type of a Participatory Design exercise that invites the intended users of the system to help create or evaluate the information architecture and navigation design for a system.

In Open Card Sorting, participants are given a set of index cards and asked to organise them into logical groups. When each card is categorised, participants provide a label for each category. In Closed Card Sorting, participants are provided with the category names and asked to organise the cards into existing categories. Reverse Card Sorting is a test of an existing information architecture and can be included in a Formative Evaluation.

Open Card Sorting

Open Card Sorting is the best way to gather insights into how users naturally organise and label topics and objects. It is commonly used to design navigation systems for ecommerce websites. Asking users to re-classify information in different ways, can identify whether a faceted classification system is required and what the key facets should be. In some situations, providing more than one way to find information can significantly increase the usability of this critical task.

Closed Card Sorting

Closed Card Sorting can reveal which elements are difficult to classify and therefore might be difficult to find within an information architecture.