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Information Architecture. Card Sorting

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When designing an information system, its Information Architecture (IA) is very important.
Here we'll see the IA concept and one of the most valuable, useful and participatie tools: Card Sorting

Published in: Design

Information Architecture. Card Sorting

  1. 1. INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE. CARD SORTING TECHNIQUE Grau en Enginyeria Informàtica User Centred Desig
  2. 2. Index • Introduction: the value of organized knowledge • Information design: Card Sorting • The technique • Advantages and disadvantages • Tools Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 2 / 42
  3. 3. The value of “organized knowledge” Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 3 / 42
  4. 4. Why Navigation Design Is So Crucial to the User Experience? • The most common problem users come across is – unable to find the desired content or features in the website or application. • Poorly designed navigation systems leads to more than 75% of usability problems. • The most common user problems • I am not able to find what I am looking for • I am not able to get back to previous page • Where to go next now? • The link clicked earlier is disappeared • While visiting any website or application the users should be able to answer these questions? • Where am I? • Where can I go? • How do I get there? • How do I get back? Good navigation is easy to find, the navigation menu should always stand out. Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 4 / 42
  5. 5. Information overload (infobesity or infoxication) • Difficulty for a person to have understanding and making decisions caused by the presence of too much information • During last years a hug amount of information overloads people. • In general, this is beneficial, • BUT, such amount of overload of information can have negative effects. • We cannot solve the amount of information, we can help users facilitating the finding of this information. Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 5 / 42
  6. 6. Possible Causes • Information • Multiplicity: electronic news, email, databases, Web pages, stored documents, social networks, ... • Incompatible formats • Unawareness, ignorance of new tools • Altavista study: 80% couldn’t/wouldn’t build a working Boolean search • Altavista study: 87% used less than 3 words • POOR Schemes and Information Architectures • Users do not understand how information is structured • That information is available does not mean it is "achievable" • “Out of sight, out of mind” [D. Norman] Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 6 / 42
  7. 7. Information Architecture (IA) • IA is about helping people understand their surroundings and find what they're looking for —in the real world as well as online. • Definition • The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability http://www.iainstitute.org http://www.iainstitute.org/documents/learn/What_is_IA.pdf Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 7 / 42
  8. 8. http://www.slideshare.net/StasKremnev/lana-voynova-crash- course-in-ux-design?next_slideshow=1 Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 8 / 41
  9. 9. http://cmsresources.windowsphone.c om/devcenter/en- us/downloads/IA_sample.pdf Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 9 / 41
  10. 10. Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 10 / 41
  11. 11. The trunk test (for testing a IA) • What site is this? (Site ID) • What page am I on? (Page name) • What are the major sections of this site? (Sections) • What are my options at this level? (Local navigation) • Where am I in the scheme of things? (“You are here” indicators) • How can I search? Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 11 / 42
  12. 12. Top 3 IA Questions about Navigation Menus 1. How Many Categories Should We Have? • fundamental principle: the number of categories should be determined by what makes it easiest for people to discover and access information — not by some preordained decision that “we should only have 4 categories” 2. Should Categories Be Listed in Alphabetical Order? • 3 key factors to consider: • Is there another organizing principle that would be more meaningful? • Will visitors already know the exact category names? • How many categories are there? 3. Should Hover-Activated Menus Be Eliminated Since Touch Devices Don’t Allow Hovering? by K. WHITENTON on January 4, 2015 http://goo.gl/dm4LFC Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 12 / 42
  13. 13. Some good references on IA (also in the virtual campus) • http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/00001 0.php • http://prezi.com/aafmvya6bk7t/understanding-information- architecture/ • http://www.slideshare.net/petervandijck/everything-i-know- about-information-architecture-mostly-categorization-in- 90-minutes • http://www.uxabilidad.com/experiencia-de- usuario/arquitectura-de-la-informacion.html • http://www.nngroup.com/articles/intranet-information- architecture-ia • http://uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2014/02/adopting-a- professional-compass-for-information-architecture.php Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 13 / 42
  14. 14. CARD SORTING Traditionally, User-Centered Design techniques are used to develop the Information Architecture of websites. The typical one is Card Sorting, where users are given a set of cards labelled with the main topics of the site and they group these cards following their own criteria Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 14 / 42
  15. 15. What is Card Sorting? • Technical knowledge acquisition based on a constructivist approach that serves to: • Understanding how users envision the organization of information • Explore how the concepts are grouped by people • Understanding users' mental model • provides concrete data that can be instantiated • Moreover, is: • Cheep, quick, involves users, democratic, … Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 15 / 42
  16. 16. Benefits • Why sort? • To better understand a problem and users’ view of it • Source of concepts, terminology and organisation • How is it done? • Participants given objects, photos, cards or similar and are asked to group them • What are the results? • Qualitative: concepts, terminology, understanding • Quantitative: how frequently items are grouped together; how groupings compare with a reference set • What methods can be used? • Face-to-face: ‘in-depth’ individuals sessions, pair sorting, with observer, larger sessions with emphasis feedback • Online: much larger sample sizes possible, using images or words (little qualitative information though) Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 16 / 42
  17. 17. Card Sorting in UCD • CS has wide application in UCD answering questions such as: • How do users think about this problem? • What words do they use? • Are menu items or form fields grouped the way users expect? • Is there anything we’ve forgotten? • Paper-based sorting in particular can be very helpful • No technological barriers • Participants can write comments on cards, change terms, create new items or groups (good qualitative results) • Cards can appear in more than one group Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 17 / 42
  18. 18. Method 1. Determine the list of topics (content) 2. Create cards 3. Selecting participants 4. Make the sorting sessions 5. Analyse the results Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 18 / 42
  19. 19. 1. Determine the list of topics • Each topic should be neither too generic or too specific. It must represent a piece of content or functionality that needs to be organized. • The sample card to order should be "manageable" • Avoid • giving "clues" that lead users to organize topics in a (pre) defined. • topics that include "grouping terms" (File, Edit, FAQs, ...) • And, (perhaps) the most important • The topics should be meaningful to the participants Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 19 / 42
  20. 20. Fruits Grapes Lemons Apples Vegetables Oranges Potatoes Carrots Tomatoes Grapes Fruits Vegetables Lemons Apples Oranges Potatoes Tomatoes Carrots Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 20 / 42
  21. 21. 2. Create the cards • Materials Needed • Paper cards, cardboard, Post-it, ... • A notebook for notes • Pencil and rubber • A large surface to spread the cards • Each topic is written on a card • On certain occasions it is necessary a small description • Must be "readable" • We must have empty cards • users can need to create groups • … Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 21 / 42
  22. 22. 3. Select participants • Aim to have participants representing all possible potential users • NOT your fellow designers, friends, relatives, … • be sure that the participants are familiar with the vocabulary of the cards • 15 to 20 participants should be successful • Perform separate card sorting sessions for different groups Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 22 / 42
  23. 23. 4. Make the sorting sessions • Explain the process • A written explanation ensures that everyone has the same level of understanding • Types • Open Card Sorting • Sorting without pre-established groups • Useful for new architectures • Closed Card Sorting • Predefined groups • For existing architectures Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 23 / 42
  24. 24. 4. Make the sorting sessions • Practical recommendations for participants • READ ALL labels before sorting • Awareness of the range of items to sort • Arrange the cards using a common approach and according to its own principles • Allow a “I’m not sure" group • Explain only when needed (not at the beginning) • In an open card sorting session participants should label the groups in their own way Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 24 / 42
  25. 25. 4. Make the sorting sessions • The UX expert • Watch and listen • Do NOT GUIDE the participants • Take note of anything that may be of importance • questioning • comments • Suggestions • … Sorting Nº 1 Date 20/09/13 User Maite Criteria Flavour Groups Sweet: 1,4,8 Bitter: 3,5 Salty: 6,7,2 Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 25 / 42
  26. 26. 5. Analyse the results http://uxpunk.com/websort http://www.conceptcodify.com http://www.userzoom.es/articles/o nline-card-sorting-what-how-why http://www.usabilitest.com/ CardSorting http://www.usabilitest.com/CardSorting http://www.simplecardsort.com https://sites.google.com/a/ uxsort.com/uxsort http://sourceforge.net/projects/ca rdsword http://www.optimalworkshop.com Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 26 / 41
  27. 27. 5. Analyse the results • CardSortingGRIHO.jar + Analitzador_Clusters(GRIHO).jar • Based on: http://www.cardzort.com/cardzort/download.php • CardSortingGRIHO.jar • Manage cards: create, modify, save, print cards • Run individual card sorting sessions • Analitzador_Clusters(GRI HO).jar • Analyse the results • Provide dendogram Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 27 / 42
  28. 28. RUN a sorting exercise CardSortingGRIHO.jar Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 28 / 41
  29. 29. Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 29 / 41
  30. 30. NAME of the user who is doing the sorting Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 30 / 41
  31. 31. Step 1: sorting the cards Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 31 / 41
  32. 32. Step 1: sorting the cards Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 32 / 41
  33. 33. Step 2: giving names to the groups Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 33 / 41
  34. 34. Analitzador_Clusters(GRIHO).jar • Cluster analysis with data obtained from CardSortingGRIHO.jar • Cluster Analysis • Algorithms based on similarity measures • Exploratory method that identifies homogeneous groups of objects (clusters) • Many choices on the nature of the algorithm for combining groups (based on similarity) Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 34 / 42
  35. 35. How we measure the similarity between two cards? • Suppose we analyse the card sorting for a user u • The distance between a pair of cards i and j is defined as:  du(i,j) = 0 when i and j are grouped  du(i,j) = 1 otherwise  du(i,j) = du(j,i) • And for N users final distance between i and j is defined as N jid jiD N u u  1 ),( ),( Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 35 / 42
  36. 36. Distances matrix 1 2 3 4 5 1 X 2 0 X 3 0 0 X 4 1 1 1 X 5 1 1 1 0 X 1 2 3 4 5 1 X 2 0 X 3 1 1 X 4 0 0 1 X 5 1 1 0 1 X 1 2 3 4 5 1 X 2 0 X 3 0 0 X 4 0 0 0 X 5 1 1 1 1 X 1 2 3 4 5 1 X 2 0 X 3 0.340.34 X 4 0.340.340.66 X 5 1.0 1.0 0.660.66 X + = 3 User 1 User 2 User 3 + [1,2,3], [4,5] [1,2,4], [3,5] [1,2,3,4], [5] 2 4 3 5 1 Items 1 and 2 were together in all exercises. Items 1 and 5 did not appear together in any exercise Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 36 / 41
  37. 37. Obtaining the Clusters 1: One of the pairs with minor distance is the cluster 1 2 3 4 5 1 X 2 0 X 3 0.34 0.34 X 4 0.34 0.34 0.66 X 5 1.0 1.0 0.66 0.66 X 2: The cluster becomes a single entity (1,2) 3 4 5 (1,2) X 3 ? X 4 ? 0.66 X 5 ? 0.66 0.66 X 3: repeat this process: D[(1,2),3] = AVG{d(1,3), d(2,3)} Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 37 / 42
  38. 38. Analitzador_Clusters(GRIHO).jar • Perform cluster analysis on data obtained with CardSortingGRIHO.jar • Visualization of the user preferences for labelling clusters • The distance reflects the number of matches between people who have done the exercise • How many users have put a couple of cards together? • A greater number of people who have joined a pair of cards shorter the distance between them. Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 38 / 42
  39. 39. Managing card sorting exercises from users Card sorting exercise corresponding to selected participant Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 39 / 41
  40. 40. distance Suggested groups & their labels participants Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 40 / 41
  41. 41. Analitzador_Clusters(GRIHO).jarNombr es de los grupos • With the resutls the UX professional can: • Decide the most appropriate Information Architecture • Naming the groups • … from users’ point of view (mental model)!! Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 41 / 42
  42. 42. References • Jakob Nelsen’s Web: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/card- sorting-how-many-users-to-test • The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction: http://www.interaction- design.org/encyclopedia/card_sorting.html • Usability.gov: http://www.usability.gov/methods/design_site/cardsort.html • Blog “No Solo Usabilidad”: http://www.nosolousabilidad.com/articulos/cardsorting.htm • Kelly, G.A. (1955). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: W.W. Norton. • Lamantia, J. (2003). Analyzing Card Sort Results with a Spreadsheet Template. Boxes and Arrows. • Maurer, D. (2003). Card-Based Classification Evaluation. Boxes and Arrows. Information Architecture. Card Sorting - User Centred Design 42 / 42

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