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While re-building a website you would probably like to re-design the way content is grouped together according to user preferences. One thing that is very useful is a card-sorting tool which automatically displays how the users (who is part of a test) groups content. Often, this is done manually, but there are tools around.

I've tried xSort which works fairly well - but I have no other experience from other tools. What is your preferred tool for Card Sorting?

EDIT: The tool asked for is one that supports both open and closed card-sort.

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closed as not constructive by Benny Skogberg, Matt Obee, JonW Mar 10 '13 at 21:12

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5 Answers

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Another tool you could consider is websort. It's quite easy to set up and gives nice visuals of the results. If desired you can add images to the cards, which can be useful for example when sorting webshop items. It gets a bit cluttered if you need to sort a large number of cards (>30) though.

Also consider the real-world alternative with post-its if you have some real users readily available. Quantitative results might not be as good as with a software tool (due to the smaller group of participants), but especially in a group setting there can be valuable insights from the discussions during the sort.

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Good points! Thanx for answering this Q. –  Benny Skogberg Apr 22 '11 at 5:27
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Two things. First, you need to decide what you're doing before deciding which type of card sort. Are you validating an IA you've designed or letting patterns emerge without an existing IA. You'll need a closed card sort for the first and an open card sort for the second.

Second, my favourite tool is OptimalSort. They actually have a bunch of online testing tools for various aspects of UX design. You can find links to their other tools one layer up here.

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Thanx for the comment. In this case it's an open card-sort used for starters. The next step will be depending on the result of the card-sort. Appriciate your tip for a tool! –  Benny Skogberg Apr 21 '11 at 5:17
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These tools all suggest that the card sort will be a digital one, if you are going to be doing offline card sorting there are lots of great excel files explained by Donna Spencer in her book Card Sorting http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/.

I'd always recommend learning excel for number crunching as whatever tool you use you are likely to run into its limitations after a very short time.

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Pls check out Card Sorting tool on usabiliTEST.com. It converts raw numbers to percentages and even sorts those by relevance with one click. Demo is available and does not require registration or log-in. –  usabilitest Aug 25 '11 at 16:16
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I've tried OptimalSort, and it works pretty well with remote users, but from what I've found, it doesn't work as well as just sitting next to the guy that does the cardsorting face-to-face. You have to add heck lot of additional questions to remote tools like OptimalSort and yet it's not as good as post-sorting interview and observing actual emotions.

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Remote card sorting is a not a substitute to face-to-face usability testing but rather an new available option made possible by emerging technologies. Our tool was used to collect data in order to improve IA for an info site of the organization in charge of Democratic elections in Africa. In situations like that one can create a test and link from a site instead of trying to recruit participants throughout the country. –  usabilitest Aug 25 '11 at 15:21
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Here's a yet another online Card Sorting tool with built-in data analytics: http://www.usabilitest.com/CardSorting

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It's your own card sorting tool, right? Can you give a bit more details on what it does: does it support both open and closed card sorting, and how does it compare to the other available tools? (Just a link isn't really informative and a bit spammy) –  Marielle Aug 24 '11 at 20:16
It does support both open and closed card sorting types. The site includes a tab to a DEMO that does not require a login in order to check the tool out. Viewing the demo will give you a much better idea of the tool and it's data analytics than any amount of words I can put here. I have not benchmarked it against other tools but I assume it does anything you would come to expect from a remote card sorting tool plus a few extras, but at a lower than any other tool's cost. Give it a whirl and decide for yourself! –  usabilitest Aug 25 '11 at 15:14
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