The UX community has a long acquaintance with the pile-sort method of user research. In this article, we’ll revisit the origin of the pile-sort method in anthropology and provide an account of how we used this method to understand user task flows. We’ll also introduce an extension to the pile-sort method that helped us to collect user data more effectively while working in an agile software-development environment. Finally, we’ll discuss the analytical method that we used to process our study results: factor analysis. Read More
Card sorting is an information-architecture technique that enables a group of subject-matter experts or users to either
provide input to the definition of a new information architecture for a Web site or application
evaluate and provide feedback on a Web site’s or application’s existing information architecture
During a typical card-sorting exercise, participants organize a set of cards comprising navigation items for a particular context into categories or groups that seem logical to them. Participants can name these groups and, thus, create a folksonomy, or user-defined taxonomy. Read More
The card sort is one of the most common research techniques for developing information architectures. The concept is pretty straightforward: you ask participants to place various items into different categories and, by doing this, get a sense of what pieces of content should go where. As with many research techniques, however, the reality is more complicated. In fact, entire books have been written about the subject.
At PledgeMusic, we have an expansive, form-based system that musicians and our staff use when creating and managing content, merchandise, and communications with fans. One of our upcoming projects is to redesign this system to make it easier and faster to perform all of the tasks that it supports. As part of our discovery process, a colleague and I recently had the opportunity to run a series of workshops at several company offices in different countries. Our task was to gather information about this system from our coworkers who use it daily in their work to get a sense of what parts do and do not work for them. Read More