Card Sort results as a dendrogram

Use these steps to understand, find, and analyze Card Sort results as a dendrogram. 

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About Dendrograms

  • Dendrograms are tree diagrams that show how participants grouped items in Card Sort tasks.
  • They are very useful when making Information Architecture decisions.
  • Dendrograms are available in the results of Open and Closed Card Sort tasks.

To find a Dendrogram in results, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Results section of your study.
  2. Select Ratios & Responses ratios_and_responses_button.jpg in the left menu.
  3. Scroll to the Card Sort Task and select Results.
  4. In the Results box, click Dendrogram dendrogram.jpg.



Analyze Dendrograms

Dendrograms are created following different mathematical processes related to hierarchical clustering standards. Options include:



Adjust agreement level

  • Agreement is shown on the top axis of the dendrogram.
  • Slide the dotted line to view different agreement levels.
    • The further left you move the dotted line you'll see more clusters with more agreement.
    • The further right you move the dotted line you'll see fewer clusters with less agreement.
    • The thickness of the lines directly correlates to the agreement percentage of the cards associated with those lines. Moving right to left, as the cards begin to narrow and agreement gets higher, the lines narrow because it’s a smaller subset of the overall number of cards in the task.
  • Agreement ranges from 0% to 100%:
    • 0%: No participants grouped the items together. There is no relationship between the items.
    • 100%: All participants grouped the items together.



Visualize and define clusters

  • Items connected at the level of the slider (dotted line) or to its left belong to the same cluster.
  • Clusters are highlighted in blue.
  • Dendrograms allow you to move between a flat hierarchy (more clusters with fewer cards each) and a deep hierarchy (fewer clusters with more cards each). You can do so in two ways:
    • Drag the Agreement line in the dendrogram:
      • Left for flatter hierarchy.
      • Right for deeper hierarchy.
    • Click Customize above the dendrogram and adjust the Number of clusters using the + and - signs.
  • The number of clusters to choose from is often determined by the constraints of the product or website being analyzed. For example, if there have to be 5 top-level navigation categories in a design, 5 clusters give you 5 groups of items.



Analyze Clusters in an Open Card Sort

See Analyze clusters in a dendrogram (Open Card Sort Tasks).


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