By Donna Spencer
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Extra info for Card Sorting
In the digital world, we can use more than one organization method or duplicate a resource. For example, I could create a digital version of my wine rack and organize it in a hundred different ways. Everyone Thinks Differently When I teach information architecture, I always ask my students how they organize their bookshelves. Most people do it in a fairly predictable way—by subject, genre, or author. But some organize according to size, the Dewey decimal system, and even color. (Of course, there are people like me who have so many books they are just in random piles.
But if you don’t test this assumption, you’re likely to end up with a result that other people don’t like, don’t understand, and can’t use. I bet you can think of plenty of products and websites like that. Although I’m a fan of card sorting (obviously), I would never suggest it is the only technique you should use in a project. Even though it is particularly good at helping you learn about how people think about groupings in content, it doesn’t help you to learn about what people need or how they undertake tasks.
0 T his is the theory chapter. Don’t let that scare you. Why do I have a chapter on theory in what is otherwise a very practical book? Well, I figure that no one (except me) runs a card sort just for the fun of it. After all, your real goal isn’t to run a card sort—it’s to organize content so it makes sense to the people who will use it. And if the ultimate goal is to organize things, it is awfully handy to understand some fundamental principles of organization and classification. I promise that when you start applying card sorting to your project, you’ll find this information useful.
Card Sorting by Donna Spencer