Card sorting

Card sorting creates products that are easy to use and intuitive to navigate.

Card sorting is a research technique that informs the design of navigation structures. The technique involves participants organising content into groups that are intuitive to them. It also allows us to understand how people  think about, and make sense of content.

Card sorting is an evidence based method for informing navigation & content structure

How card sorting works

During a card sort, participants use a cross section of content from a website or product to create groups. Each card representes a piece of content and contains a desccripive label. Ideally cards sorts are completed by a group of participants who are representative of a selected product audience. 

After the cards have been grouped, participants give each group a label (or heading) that makes sense to them.

This delivers:

  1. An understanding of which pieces of content belong together.
  2. The type of language that people naturally use when referring to these groups.

For content heavy products or websites more than one sort may be needed to provide sufficient information and refine results.

A card sort can also be carried out using an online tool such as Optimal Workshop. This allows participants to complete the activity in their own time and space. It also provides efficient data collection, potentially saving time on the project.

A final validation of the structure determined by the card sort is recommended. This can be done via tree testing with participants.

Insights and reports from
card sorting

At Nomat, we believe that the final, and most important, part of the card sort is analysis of the data.

Observing the factors participants consider when sorting the cards, as well as documenting the final outcomes of the activity, are key to producing a practical and useful website (or product) structure.

Final outputs of a card sort are usually a recommended navigation structure (including navigation labels) or site map. Key insights that have informed the recommendation are captured in an accompanying report.


If you would like to discuss your project needs please get in touch.

Why Nomat?

At Nomat we have experience running Card Sorts for a broad range of corporate and government clients, including flybuys, Kmart and Meyer.  All of these projects have delivered navigation structures that support end-users to easily locate content.

We bring a practical and pragmatic mindset to running Card Sorts to ensure that our clients achieve their goals from the activity. Further, we conduct the work in a collaborative fashion which engages stakeholders to buy in to the outcome.