Card Sorting Doesn’t Cut the Custard

Where's the custard in your supermarket?

Where's the custard in your supermarket?

Why I don’t use Card Sorting

Card sorting is a simple technique in User Experience Design where a group of   users are guided to arrange subject-headings under pre-determined categories or into groups which make sense to them.

For example, a card labelled “apples” might logically sit under a category labelled “fruit”.

It can be a useful approach for designing menu structures or website navigation paths.

But I haven’t used card-sorting since 1999.

Why? Because since the advent of the Content Management System (CMS) I haven’t needed to. The CMS changed the way I approached information architecture forever. I’ve never again needed to resort to card sorting in order to locate content in a place which is intuitive for ‘most users’.

In my view card sorting is a bit of a hack to resolve the issue of static websites where the content is forced to live in one place.

It’s like going to the supermarket and looking for custard powder. To me it makes sense to look for it within the cooking section next to sugar, baking powder, cornflour etc. But good luck finding it there because you’ll usually find it in the desserts section next to jelly and ice-cream cones.

It’s Semantic

Throughout 2009 you’ll probably hear a lot of talk about the semantic web, aka “Web 3.0”.

The semantic wave embraces previous stages of internet growth. The first stage, Web 1.0, was about connecting information and getting on the net. Web 2.0 is about connecting people – the web of social networks and participation. This was all the rage over the past few years and is now part of mainstream internet culture.

The emerging stage, Web 3.0, is starting now. It is about connecting knowledge, and putting these to work in ways that make our experience of the internet more relevant, useful, and enjoyable. Google have recently starting making the power of this technology available.

Unravelling Visual Design

At Provoke we’re increasingly focussing on visual design and how this influences a user’s comprehension of content, interactivity and pathways. Moments before unravelling…Coming up with a nice-looking visual design usually isn’t the greatest challenge – the real magic lies in the delicate interplay between the brand, content, navigation pathways, interactive tools and how the visuals

UX Industry Goes Loco

In New Zealand the demand for Information Architects, Interaction Designers, Web Designers and Usability Consultants is hotter than global warming. It’s so hot that the local industry is possibly nearing some sort of a meltdown – nearly everyone seems to be looking for User Experience (UX) experts – and you’ll find plenty of people who

I Aye?

I’m almost back home from my workshop and conference run – GOVIS, OZ-IA and this weekend PKS2006… OZ-IA in Sydney was kinda interesting, but in my experience it didn’t match the blurb which promoted the event as a “conference/retreat where you can engage with panels, and participate in group sessions”. Infact, the whole event was