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Card Sort Data Analysis - Best Practices

A Review of Card Sort Analysis Best Practices by Experienced Card Sort Practitioners

Intended for experienced practitioners of card sorts, the goal of the workshop is to create Best Practices for analyzing card sorting data. Attendees will strive to answer these and other critical questions:

- What are the current Best Practices for analyzing card sort data? 
- Which tools provide the best data visualization and manipulation for card sorting analysis?
- How does the practitioner derive a complete IA from a single card sort? 
- When and where in the analysis should objective analysis yield to subjective analysis?

Workshop by Carol Righi (, Janice James (Perficient)
2:40pm to 6:00pm on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Position Paper:
download position paper template (RTF)

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About the Workshop


Attendees at this session will walk away with Best Practices that define: - Best Practices for analysis of card sort data - The most effective tools that provide the best data visualization and manipulation for card sorting analysis - How to define a complete IA from a single card sort study (e.g., one that contains multiple profiles or multiple levels of an IA but only a single set of cards). - Guidelines for when objective analysis should yield to subjective analysis PARTICIPANT KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE EXPECTED Participants should have previous experience conducting, analyzing the results of and creating the resulting IA of at least five card sorting studies, using both automated and manual methods as well.

This workshop will not cover the following topics:

  • How to use automated or manual methods to conduct a card sort
  • A review of existing automated tools
  • An explanation of the mechanics of cluster analysis

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION The workshop will be led by the organizers, but this workshop is intended to be very much a working session of experienced practitioners coming together to contribute their expertise. Participants will address the questions posed above, working within groups. Leaders of each group will be asked to present a summary of the conclusions arrived at during their working sessions, and to address questions from other workshop participants.

At the end of the workshop, the organizers will work with the participants to summarize the day’s work, including answers to each of the issues addressed during the day, as well as new issues and topics that surfaced during the day’s discussions.

HANDOUTS OR OTHER SESSION MATERIAL • Extended bibliography PREVIOUS WORK DONE ON THE TOPICS COVERED IN THIS WORKSHOP Through their practical experience with card sorts during the last 15 years, the presenters have attempted to answer the questions posed in this workshop. Tools and techniques have evolved and the presenters recognize the value of drawing upon the wide range of experiences of others conducting card sorts. Although the presenters have documented their approach in a tutorial conducted for UPA and other professional associations for the last six years and have revised the content each year with new experiences, they have not published the material in any other way.