Card sorting is an activity that tests the organization of content. Traditionally, this kind of study was done in person, with actual index cards, but now there are online tools like OptimalSort that present you with digital “cards” to sort. When presented with a card sort, your job is to sort those cards into categories in whatever way makes sense to you.
Sometimes, you’ll be given a set of categories to sort the cards into, and other times, you’ll be able to create and name the categories yourself. Both methods help developers understand how they should organize the content on their site or app.
To provide helpful feedback on Card Sort tests, keep the following in mind:
- Read the instructions very carefully. This is true for ALL tests, but especially for card sorts, because you will probably be taken to another site to perform the card sort. If you’re not sure what you’re being asked to do, click View Instructions in the top right. If you're still unable to complete the test, please report a problem.
- Focus your feedback on the cards that confuse you, or are difficult to categorize. The final results of this type of study will probably shed some light on which cards don’t fit very well into categories, but they won’t explain why; that’s where your feedback will be most valuable. Explain what makes you hesitate as you sort the cards, whether it’s a simple issue of terminology or a genuine feeling that the card just doesn’t belong.
- Be sure to submit your completed sort. When all the cards are set up how you want, look for a button that says “Finished” in the top right corner. You may have to move the UserTesting task instructions to find this button. Please make sure to click the “Finished” button, or else your card sort results will not be sent to the customer.