Design 101 /

Card Sorting

Card sorting is a quantitative research method in UX design that allows designers to understand how users categorize and label content . We can organize this exercise in person with real cards or online through an online tool like Optimal Workshop or OptimalSort .

The user is given a set of cards with different pieces of information on them, and the workshop moderator asks them to sort the cards into whatever categories make sense to the user.

Card sorting allows you to understand the labels your users use and how they can best navigate a website or an app. You get to see if their labels are different from what you expect and see how they might organize their content differently from how you would.

There are two types of card sorting: open and closed. In open card sorting , the most popular version of these two, your users can create their categories; in closed card sorting , they choose from categories you have defined for your digital product.

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