Developing an Information Architecture with Card Sorting
Good information architecture is key to creating engaging, easy-to-use and intuitive websites. This online course, comprising 10 easy-to-follow lectures, will walk you through the card sorting process.
Card sorting is a professional exercise undertaken with participants that determines the best navigational structure (formally called ‘information architecture’) for your site. Card sorting can be carried out face-to-face, or online using a software program called OptimalSort. In this course, you will learn how to master both methods.
Developing an Information Architecture with Card Sorting also comes with resources, such as a moderation guide and research templates, created and used by the U1 Group consultancy team.
The benefits of card sorting
Carrying out card sorting prior to web design and development enables you to:
- See how users map out relationships between your content
- Figure out where users think content should (or shouldn’t) sit
- Observe what navigation paths don’t make sense to users and why
- Learn the language that users label categories of information with.
Through this research, you gain insight on how to create the most intuitive Information Architecture possible. The result is a user-friendly website structure that you can rest assured people will want to come back to, again and again.
- You’ll hear comments like: “Wow! I can actually find the content I need!”
- You’ll start seeing an increase in conversion rates
- You’ll lower incoming phone and email queries
- You’ll improve the overall customer experience, which builds advocacy.
…just by understanding how to best present content on your website, thanks to card sorting. To get started, download our course now!
This is an introduction lecture to the course on Developing an Information Architecture with Card Sorting. Here we through the importance of having an intuitive Information Architecture, introduce the concept of card sorting, both face-to-face and online card sorting and then introduce what the students will learn from this course, which is basically to be able to run their own card sort themselves!
In this lecture, we talk through how you might determine what cards should go into a card sort. Do you use every page on your website? A few of them? We address these issues as well as talk through how you can start putting the cards together using our template excel sheet.
This template excel sheet can be used or adapted to help you manage your labels and descriptions for your cards. Feel free to download the Excel version to use for your own project
A good card sort is one where you have the target audience of your website involved in the card sort itself. There is no point high school children doing a card sort for a superannuation website! Here we talk through some different options and provide suggestions on how to recruit, as it is not as easy as you might think.
This is an example of what a recruitment specification looks like. feel free to download the Word version to use for your own project.
The all important lecture on facilitating a card sort. We walk through a checklist you need to consider before you run your card sort, we discuss the pros of cons of doing card sorts in groups, pairs or individually and also introduce a moderation guide, an extremely useful guide for you when hoping to keep your card sorting sessions organized and to schedule.
This is a template moderation guide you can use which is used as an aide for you and your clients so that you are clear what the card sort procedure will be. Feel free to download the Word version to use for your own project
Online card sorting has become extremely popular and the tools have increased dramatically in recent years. The most popular is OptimalSort, a great tool which we run through here so that you can begin to run your own card sorts online. This lecture covers how to set up a card sort yourself.
The best thing about card sorting is the analytic tools they provide. Here we walk through each of the tools you can use in your card sorting analysis - each has their own benefit and as a collective, add a large amount of clout to your analysis toolkit.
Here we walk through how you might finalize an Information Architecture based on an example card sort. Basically you can iterate using the various tools from OptimalSort to verify and validate your decisions in coming up with an intuitive Information Architecture.
Here we cover the available techniques that you can use to help validate with your end users that the Information Architecture you have created is in fact a good one.
A good card sort is not complete without being able to package it up into a nice clear and concise report for your stakeholders. Here we walk through how a presentation for a card sort might look like. And in the next lecture, you'll even be able to use our template to get your own card sort presentation together.
This is a template of a card sorting presentation which you can adapt for your own needs
Phew, we've gone through the entire card sorting process, from generating the cards, recruiting participants, facilitating the sessions through to online card sorting and then concluding with the presentation of findings to your stakeholders, feel free to ask us any questions relating to the material, we'd love to hear from you!