upa - home page JUS - Journal of usability studies
An international peer-reviewed journal

Card Sorting: Current Practices and Beyond

Jed Wood and Larry Wood

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, November 2008, pp. 1-6

Article Contents


Given its origin in the investigation of knowledge organization and category structure, the methodology of card sorting has come a long way in the world of information technology. Card sorting has been a very useful method for gathering useful information from potential Web site users related to the most useful information architecture of a Web site and for the organization of features in an application, whether Web-based or resident on a desktop computer.

Not surprisingly, a set of common practices in conducting card sort studies and analyzing the resulting data has developed over time. Although the results of these efforts have produced valuable results on balance, the practices are based more on anecdotal evidence than systematic research. We discussed what we consider to be the limitations of current practices and made recommendations based on our own experience (both as users of the methodology and as vendors of a leading online card sorting tool). We also suggested research studies that we believe need to be conducted and that we are in the process of conducting.

Previous | Next