Card sort study

Last Updated: Oct 02, 2017 05:33PM PDT

What is card sorting?

Card sorting is when participants sort items (pages, categories, pieces of content, etc.) into related groups.

There are two types of card sort: open card sorts and closed card sorts.

  • Open card sorts: Users place items in groups and name the groups.
  • Closed card sort: Users place items into predefined categories.

Why is card sorting helpful?

Card sorting can provide insight how people group and label content and information in their own minds. This information can provide guidance when designing or assessing an information structure.

When should card sorting be conducted?

An open card sort is typically done in the early stages of the design process or to evaluate an existing design, and the findings can be used to inform the new design or redesign.

Closed card sorts can be done before a redesign (to see if the existing or proposed structure makes sense to users) or when adding new content or functionality (to see if it fits within the existing structure).

Card sorting with UserTesting

We suggest asking users to record themselves using the UserTesting platform while they complete an online card sort using a third-party tool (OptimalSort). Users are asked to think out loud as they complete the card sort, so we can observe their behavior and listen to their feedback as they work on the activity.

Contact your Customer Success Manager to plan a card sorting study.
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