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A Modified Delphi Approach to a New Card Sorting Methodology

Celeste Lyn Paul

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, November 2008, pp. 7-30

Article Contents

Next Steps

The Modified-Delphi cart sort provides a promising alternative to Open card sorting for use as a pre-design method. However, it is a new method and must be further researched in order to refine the methodology and maximize the return of investment it requires. Questions about the method surfaced during the design of method and analysis and preliminary reporting of results. Some of these questions included the following:

The answers to these questions can only be obtained by conducting additional Modified-Delphi card sorting studies. Parallel Open and Modified-Delphi studies are not cost effective and only make sense for research purposes. Modified-Delphi card sorting has already been proven to be as at least as good and very likely better than Open card sorting. It would be interesting to conduct this method as a web-based method to see if it offers benefits to web-based methods as it has to laboratory-based methods. I encourage practitioners to utilize this method early in the design process and share their results with the rest of the community.


This research was partially funded by the Information Architecture Institute 2006 Process Grant (Paul, 2007) and introduced at the 2007 Information Architecture Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. I would also like to thank Kathryn Summers of the University of Baltimore and my colleagues Bill Killam and Marguerite Autry of User-Centered Design, Inc. for their guidance and support during the project.

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