Card sorting is an effective, easy-to-use method for understanding how people think about content and categories. It helps you create information that is easy to find and understand. In Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories, Donna Spencer shows you how to plan and run a card sort, analyze the results, and apply the outcomes to your projects.
This book is a fresh, clear, practical explanation of the value of card-sorting, how to do it, and how to use the results. Spencer mixes step-by-step instructions and good examples with just enough theory. You’ll emerge from this book with new skills to create great user-centered information architectures–and smart responses to tricky questions from pesky stakeholders.
Tamara Adlin, Founding Partner, Fell Swoop, and co-author of The Persona Lifecycle: Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product DesignSee more testimonials
Card Sorting Blog
- Card sorting analysis: a co-occurrence matrix on
- New articles and resources on
- Interviews on
- Card sorting doesn’t cut the custard on
- Inviting the guests to cook the food on
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: All About Card Sorting
- Chapter 2: All About Organizing
- Chapter 3: Defining the Need
- Chapter 4: Choose the Method
- Chapter 5: Choose the Content
- Chapter 6: Choose the People
- Chapter 7: Make the Cards
- Chapter 8: Manage the Sort
- Chapter 9: Use Exploratory Analysis
- Chapter 10: Use Statistical Analysis
- Chapter 11: Use What You’ve Learned
These common questions about card sorting and their short answers are taken from Donna Spencer’s book Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories. You can find longer answers to each in your copy of the book, either printed or digital version.
- I wrote our content on cards/sticky notes and our team shuffled it around to create the IA. That’s a card sort, isn’t it?
Not really. That’s just shuffling content ideas around the table (which is still useful, just not really a card sort). I think the essential element to something being a card sort is that it involves real users of your information.
See Chapter 1 for more information on what a card sort involves.
- I need to test that my draft information architecture is okay. Should I do a closed card sort?
A closed card sort is where you ask people to slot content into a set of categories that you