Introduction to Card Sorting


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  • Murray Thompson’s award-winning entry in The Information Architecture Institute’s “Explain IA Contest.
  • An effective IA is based on the understanding of 3 different areas: Business, Content and Users. We are going to be focusing on USERS for this workshop and different strategies for engagement
  • OPEN SORT: good for getting ideas on groups of content CLOSED: Useful to see where people would put the content.
  • What are you hoping to learn? Who does it impact? Pick those people!
  • Introduction to Card Sorting

    1. 1. Information Architecture 101:Card Sorting
    2. 2. SELMA ZAFAR,SENIOR USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER• 12 years experience in creating compelling, usable and innovate experiences• Strategy, user research, IA, wireframes, usability testing• ThoughtFarmer Intranet clients: • Cummins Western Canada • Fokker Services, Aerostructures, Aircraft Services • Global Container Terminals • YVR
    3. 3. W ho Feels that their Intr anet Contentis a tangled mess?
    4. 4. IA Challenges for Intr anets• Reflects a company organization chart that employees don’t understand• Stale, out-dated content• ‘Dumping Ground’ for content• No publishing standards or style guide• Lack of content ownership• Complex publishing processes prevent content updating
    5. 5. Business/ContextContent Users
    6. 6. CARD SORTING
    7. 7. “It is important to use Card Sorting for the rightreasons and the right time in the project and to analyzethe results in combination with other inputs.”- DONNA SPENCER 2009
    8. 8. Steps in a Car d Sor t1. Decide what you want to learn2. Select the type of Card Sort (open vs closed)3. Choose Suitable Content4. Choose and invite participants5. Conduct the sort (online or in-person)6. Analyze Results7. Integrate results
    9. 9. Befor e you Get Star ted! Inventory + Audit the Content
    10. 10. W hat ar e you wanting to lear n?• New Intranet vs Existing?• Section of Intranet?• Whole organization vs single department?• For a project? For a team?
    11. 11. OPEN VS CLOSED CRM Year in Product Organizati Review Company Targets CRM OPEN Vacation Christmas on Chart Projects Meeting News Project Policy Party Vacation Review Walkathon request Pay Days SORT Results form Vacation Policy Human Walkathon Vacation Events Resources Results request Pay Days Christmas CRM form Party Product Organizati CRM Christmas Targets in Year on Chart Vacation Project Party Review Policy Review Meeting Pay Days CRM VacationOrganization request Chart CRM form Year in Project Review Review Product Meeting Walkathon Targets Results Christmas Year in CRM Party Review Project Company Company Walkathon Meeting Review Projects Product Projects News News Results Targets Vacation CLOSED Human Resources Departments Policy Human Vacation Resources request Pay Days Departments CRM Organizati SORT form on Chart
    13. 13. Selecting Content Don’tsDo’s•30 – 100 Cards • More than 100 cards•Select content that can be • Mix functionality andgrouped content•Select terms and concepts • Include both detailedthat mean something to and broad contentusers
    14. 14. Choose & Invite Par ticipants
    15. 15. Conducting the Car d Sor t Optimal Workshop (
    16. 16. Anal ysis#17 The information in this presentation is confidential. Please do not redistribute. Thanks!
    17. 17. Look at• What groups were created• Where the cards were placed• What terms were used for labels• Organization scheme used• Whether people created accurate or inaccurate groups
    18. 18. Cate gor y Char acteristics• Users understand the categories & can find information• Content fits well in categories with not too much overlap• Category names match users mental models
    19. 19. Inte g r ate results: Cr eate Your IA Centers ofOur Company Projects Departments Excellence Employee Community & Resources Groups Project Management Executive Blog Project Name 1 Executive Professionals Vacation & Holidays Events Operations Engineering New York Project Name 2 Expenses Charitable Campaigns Operations Support Terminal Technologies Project Name 3 Vancouver Carpool Vancouver Vessel Planning NAVIS Project Name 4 Travel Mission and Values Yard Planning Lawson Health & Safety Rail Planning IT Wellness Finance & Yard Planning Administration Benefits Human Resources Facilities Corporate Communications Payroll IT Communication Tools
    20. 20. Added Benefit of Car d Sor ting Employee EngagementInvolving your employees as part of the process for defining your new Intranet will result in higher acceptance.
    21. 21. Steps in a Car d Sor t REcap1. Inventory/Audit Content2. Decide what you want to learn3. Select the type of Card Sort (open vs closed)4. Choose Suitable Content5. Choose and invite participants6. Conduct the sort (online or in-person)7. Analyze Results8. Create IA
    22. 22. Now Car d Sor t! out the results at the next ThoughtFarmer Webinar!Information Architecture 101: Task TestingOctober 17th @8:30 AM PST
    23. 23. Selma