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7

Basically the validation for large IA is similar as in other situations. Do a closed card sort. Other comments on your problem: Check the the article Scaling the card sort method to over 500 items: restructuring the Google AdWords help center by Nakhimovsky et al for ideas on how to conduct card sorts with a lot of items. In essence you have to get the ...


5

It's a question of costs and risks. Which is worse: users getting an incentive without really trying, or false data being taken during research and becoming misread as "official user feedback"? I'd suggest the latter. Forcing categorisation means participants create weak categories just for the sake of including miscellaneous items. That means weak silos ...


5

If I understand you correctly the grouping isn't what you are concerned with. In other words, you aren't trying to identify what group to put "Video" or "Films" or "Movies" into as you already have that defined (i.e. "Media"). Instead you are interested in what to label the individual items. If that's the case then I don't believe a card sort is the ...


5

From Card sorting: a definitive guide: There are two primary methods for performing card sorts. Open Card Sorting: Participants are given cards showing site content with no pre-established groupings. They are asked to sort cards into groups that they feel are appropriate and then describe each group. Open card sorting is useful as ...


5

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 ...


5

A couple of things spring to mind: Use Greek letters. Your participants might be less familiar with these so any implicit ordering will be weakened. Put the numbers/letters on the back where they can't see them. Then just lift the cards to record the order.


4

First and foremost I don't see this as an issue of time, rather than an issue of how to get users to transition from one paradigm of your product to another. If you plan on revamping the system completely to the point where you feel like users who rely on muscle memory might get lost, you might consider doing a short 30 second - 1 minute tutorial showing ...


4

I've just done a little quick and dirty analysis on the OptimalSort database for you. Eyeballing some of the instructions messages suggests that most studies are not prompting the use of a "don't know" group. So I've counted the number of participants who did anyway using the following criteria: ... where label REGEXP '(don\'t|dont|misc|confus|not ...


4

Yes, qualitative data from card sorts can be valuable as a knowledge elicitation technique, especially when you're working in domains outside your expertise. The main benefit is that in addition to the categories, you get to know a bit more about the criteria that your participants are using and their thinking process. (Although if you've never done a card ...


4

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 ...


3

People do share 'high level' mental models (or schemas) My mental model of say 'house' and your mental model of 'house' have to be generally similar - otherwise nobody in the world would be able to understand anyone else. Here's a (fairly simplistic) link to a description of schemas:


3

Note: I represent Optimal Workshop, the company who makes the tools I propose below. If your budget allows, I'd suggest you begin with a moderated card sort with a small number of participants (3-15). You will probably learn something about your card labels and content coverage in this process, so you can make any necessary adjustments to your cards at the ...


2

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 ...


2

I have used Donna Spencer's fantastic card sort analysis spreadsheet and find it to be a handy tool. She provides instructions on how to use it, and it comes fully loaded with formulas and macros. It's much easier to use on a closed card sort where you have provided users with the category names. On an open card sort, you have to use your best judgment to ...


2

The question is - is that function relevant and understandable by whoever is going to be doing your card sort? I think your example would, in theory, make a fine card. Here's some words from a real expert: Donna Spencer wrote a great book titled Card Sorting, and she's got a precursor article that contains this: Granularity and sampling content. ...


2

Now is the right time. It is rarely too soon or too late to make life easier for the people who rely on you and your products. People do adapt to complicated systems, processes, and interfaces. Most people are more comfortable, in the immediate term, when things feel familiar. And as you say, people will often be confused, or even frustrated, if you change ...


2

The problem is that people hate change. No matter how much nicer you make a UI, there will always be some initial resistance. Many of the big web companies introduce change gradually, switching on new features for a small number of targeted users at a time, starting with the ones they think will benefit the most from the new feature based on their existing ...


2

The question is valid, but it has somewhat of a 'backwards' scent. Normally, you conduct a research (eg, card sorting) with some research goal in mind. The goal will account for the various personas. In other words, you recruit participants based on the fit criteria defined by the research goal which accounts for personas. Consider for example a site (or ...


2

There are a number of methods you could use in order to make sure the navigation works. First you could do a tree test to make sure that you really are having a navigation problem since you say that you have just heard it. You could also do a classic task-based usability study on the site design to be sure that it's no a interface problem. You could ...


1

Maybe the participant did not understood the assignment. If that's the case I'm not sure you want to take any conclusions from it. If you observed a large number of participants doing this, why not do a follow-up session with them, and try to understand their point of view? That way, you'll understand if they though the assignment was something else, or ...


1

Have you looked at the tools offered by Optimal Workshop in their OptimalSort and Treejack? They offer a Similarity Matrix for identifying obvious clusters and dive into alternate pairings. Dendrograms to visualize content groups and the top labels by participants. Participant-Centric Analysis that produces different IA structures. I found that rather ...


1

Finding the appropriate term is brought about by deliberation within the participants and building a consensus. If there is still ambiguity then I would propose to go in for - Forced ranking method - where ranks are made for each items and they are added up across, say 4 participants rank an item A: 1+2+3+4 = 10 (the minimal number in the gross seems to be ...


1

Would it be a bad idea to allow them to define groups instead of using the Don't know group? This way, you get them to help with the categorization of cards and then you can use newly created groups to help other users who don't know what how to group their cards. 'Don't know' is fine but I would imagine that someone will have to step in behind someone ...


1

Use the channels that the client company has to its existing/new users. If you're after new users for an existing product - go talk to your client's sales folk. If you're after existing users for an existing product - go talk to your client's customer support folk. If it's a new product/market then part of the plan for the new product/market should ...


1

At the last company I worked at we had, essentially, three ways of recruiting candidates: Just ask friends & family, even other employees who didn't work in design & development Strangers: Sit in a cafe and offer to buy someone a coffee or dring, if you can do the test "in the wild" Various online blackboards – e.g. student job boards All three ...


1

Mental models are naturally very nearly unique for each person. However large parts of those mental models are shared by people who come from the same (culture) group. Forming a consensus based on bunch of representative mental models is basically what (evidence-based) UX/usability research is all about. Most good for most people among the users of the ...


1

Personally, I wouldn't expand the model outside the initial scope. The thought and analysis that went into setting up the initial card-sort, and how the follow-up questions were phrased or grouped would have been done with specific, researched guidelines that could skew the results if applied across disciplines. I wouldn't even apply it to a broader group ...


1

The numbers clearly don't matter, so what you're really looking for is a reference of some sort that doesn't easily let someone infer order from. If you show say 100 cards and they are numbered #1 - #100, then there is some implied information. However if you give those same cards random 4 digit numbers (e.g. 7023, 0591), they will be easy for you to ...


1

If the participants in your study will only need to add a small number of cards (e.g. 2 or 3 extra cards for a card sort with 30 cards), you might try a workaround with placeholders. In that case you could add a few extra 'blank' cards to the set with their own unique identifiers (could be simple numbers), and instruct your participants to use them if needed ...



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