n previous blogs, we have looked at the different types of card sorting and how to carry out a card sort . We thought we would end this mini series by giving you some extra card sorting tips and tricks to get you started if you are considering carrying out this kind of research.
1. Plan your operation – make sure you have considered exactly what you are testing and what you are looking to get from the research. Ensure your objectives and parameters are well-defined and clear.
2. Don’t use too many cards (say more than 50) or too few. If you have too many you risk confusion and fatigue setting in, too few might not provide you with sufficient useful information.
3. Use a spreadsheet to record and examine the results – it will provide more clarity and make links and analysis easier.
4. Make sure you spend enough time and involve the right people in deciding the card items and the categories. Get information and ideas from stakeholders as to what should be in the mix and brainstorm the content with experienced people within the business.
5. Brief the people doing the sorting properly so they know exactly what they are doing and the context in which they are operating.
6. Consider using group sessions as you tend to get more interaction, creativity and useful insights and development than when sorters operate alone.
7. Be careful in the sort of terms you use not to introduce bias into the exercise.
8. You will need a card sorting tool for the analysis – we tend to use OptimalSort.
9. Recruit the right people to do the card sorting. Look at the demographics of your current users and future target groups and try to recruit to those parameters. Get a good number (say 15-20) to participate as this gives a better range of coverage and more validation and relevance to the findings.
10. Photograph the layout of each sort for future reference and aid to analysis.
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