In a card sort study, subjects arrange a list of items or concepts (usually written on index cards) into logical organizational categories. Researchers typically encourage participants to “talk aloud” during the study to hear their thought process. The end result is a rich set of data in terms of how users organize information, but also how they think about doing it. In libs: web sites, infrastructure, research guides, RDA
Good because you get ideas about how users will label stuff
Good because you can figure out organizational structures of existing things
The components of what it means to do a 3x5 card sort
Lots of good data!Cheap to doWorks in conjunction with other kinds of usability testing, such as task oriented, etc.
Data entryHow many cards x number of participants (Jakob Nielsen says 15 is ideal)Error margins, what if you drop the cards? What if you lose them?Strange environment with strangers looking on for participant
Oregon MPH studentsDeceptively simple:WifiDifferent course of studyDifferent resources
FamiliesJobsSchool at nightPart-timeDifferent school experiences/different needs
Email input as to needs to understand between two libraries and research, then put that into cards and card sort, the rest was magic
Integrated a short survey so we could collect demographic data from subjects; easy to use interface; 30 cards and ten users for free although Jakob Nielsen says we should have 15
The interface looked like this, we also had demographic data from participants; auto shut off after 10 completed the study
And it spit out a csv file for us, too!Dendograms, participant agreement, similarity matrix, and coded csv file
This is what we made. Yes, we have two instances and have to email back and forth about changes
10 participants x 30 cards = 300 rows of data
Comfort of their own homesDistance students
Masking of label name inputsLoss of discarded cardsWhat if they don’t work in browsers or users have tech problems at home?
How to decide if it’s right for you
4 easy steps
From 3x5 to LCD: Considerations and How-tos for Online Card Sort Studies
From 3x5 to LCD* Considerations and how-tos for conducting online card sort studies Emily Ford Urban & Public Affairs Librarian Portland State University email@example.com *This presentation is based on an article forthcoming in College & Research Libraries News titled - Is Digital Better than Analog? Considerations for Online Card Sort Studies
What is a card sort study? http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/3343504093
Open Card Sort http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/3344343842/
3x5 Card SortGet IRB waiver or approvalMake cardsRecruit and schedule participantsObserve talking out loudAsk questions/interview subjectsTransfer analog data to digitalCrunch dataMake sense of dataPlan and implement design/organization/changes
3x5 Card SortPro• Rich qualitative and quantitative data• Inexpensive• Complements data from other usability testing methods
3x5 Card Sort Con • Time intensive • Margins for error • Participant comfort/nerves
The Mission• Create a LibGuide for OMPH students.• Share it between PSU and OHSU.
The PartnerLaura ZeigenUser Experience LibrarianOregon Health & ScienceUniversityOregon Master of PublicHealth Student
LCD Card SortGet IRB waiver or approvalMake cardsRecruit and schedule participantsObserve talking out loudAsk questions/interview subjectsTransfer analog data to digitalCrunch dataMake sense of dataPlan and implement design/organization/changes
LCD Card Sort Con • No “think out loud” data • Potential interface issues with online product • Potential online product functionality issues • Tracking discarded cards
3x5 or LCD?Considerations:• How many cards are in our set?• What other methods are being used for this project?• What kind of users are our subjects?• Does the online product do what we need?• Do we want perfection or will good enough suffice?
LCD Card SortHow-to:1.Choose your software.2.Design and set up your study3.Collect data4.Marvel at the results