If you receive an invite to take a mobile test that includes a card sort, you can use this article to understand how this task works and learn some best practices for providing helpful feedback.
An introduction to card sorting
A card sort can help reveal how people make sense of different concepts. With this insight, companies and organizations can learn how to improve their product experiences. For example, card sort results can help a brand find out how to organize product categories on its retail website.
Traditional card sorts take place in person and require the participant to sort items or topics labeled on index cards into groups or categories. On the UserTesting platform, you can complete this same exercise online using a computer or the UserTesting mobile app.
Sometimes you may need to create your own categories. Other times, you'll use existing categories or you'll have the option to add some of your own. Your task is to sort the available cards into the categories that make the most sense to you and to explain your choices out loud.
When you complete a card sort activity, the person conducting the test wants to know the “why” behind your choices. Focus on explaining your reasoning as you organize the cards. Share why you think some cards or categories are confusing or if you don’t think some of the cards fit well in any category. If you feel unsure about any of your choices, share this experience too. Remember, there’s no such thing as a right or wrong answer.
How card sorting works on the UserTesting mobile app
Learn how to:
- Start the card sort task
- Sort your cards
- Create your own categories
- Finish your card sort
- Go back and make changes to your card sort
Start the card sort task
Your task instructions should alert you that you’re about to start the card sort. Usually, these instructions will include an overview of how to complete the activity.
To begin, tap the Start task button. The cards and categories will appear on the Sort cards screen.
If you don’t see the card sort when you tap the Start task button, you may need to collapse the task instructions first.
To collapse the task instructions:
- Tap Done on the Sort cards screen.
- Then tap the Task button.
- You should now be able to view the card sort screen.
Sort your cards
Take some time to review the available categories, and think about how you might organize the cards into different groups.
To begin sorting your cards, drag and drop them under the Categories column.
Remember to speak your thoughts out loud as you sort your cards. You should explain how you understand the meaning of each category and card and why you think certain cards should be grouped together.
Create your own categories
In some cases, you may need to create your own categories. To do this, review the list of cards that are available to you.
When you’re ready to create a new category, tap the plus icon next to the Categories header.
How to create your categories using a different card sort tool
If there isn’t a plus sign on your screen, you’ll just need to drag and drop your cards to create new categories.
Give the category a name that makes sense to you, based on the type of cards you plan to place under it. Make sure to explain out loud why you’ve decided to give the category its name.
In some tools, you may need to manually tap on the category to add a name. For example, in the tool shown below, you’d need to tap on the Tap to rename field to add the category name.
Finish your card sort
Once you’ve sorted each card and you’re satisfied with your choices, tap the Done button.
In other tools, you may need to tap a Finished button, or your cards and categories may be autosaved.
Go back and make changes to your card sort
If you’d like to return to the card sort to make any changes, just tap the Resume task button. Otherwise, tap Next to move on to the next part of your test.
If you tap the Next button before your card sort is complete, we’ll let you know. Tap Cancel and then tap the Resume task button to finish sorting your cards.