William Hudson | 11 Feb 18:23 2009
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New card sorting tools and webinar

We've been busy over these cold winter months (and in many of the warmer
ones that preceded them, for that matter!) in updating our card sorting
tools. The biggest news is that we have released our long-awaited
SynCaps V2 card sort processing and cluster analysis package, but
there's more, as described below.

I am also pleased to announce our first webinar on the subject of card
sorting in general and our new tools in particular. This is brief and
free (what more could you ask?). Details are at the bottom of the
message.

UNICODE SUPPORT

The latest releases of SynCaps V1 and V2 now support Unicode, which
means you are not limited to Latin character sets. Browse here to see
our wines card sort example in Cyrillic -
http://www.syntagm.co.uk/images/wines-cyrillic.gif

SORT ANYTHING WITH LABELS

Our mail merge templates for Word now include standard address labels so
you can print text and/or bar codes to put on the back of photographs or
objects. Best of all, the Word templates and instructions are still
free. (See http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/cardsortdl.shtml#templates)

SYNCAPS V2 RELEASED

Merge similar groups and items plus get quick and effective visual
summaries of sort results with a range of new features added in SynCaps
V2. SynCaps V1 will continue to be our 'lightweight' edition but we
(Continue reading)

William Hudson | 11 Feb 20:53 2009
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New card sorting tools and webinar (shorter link)

Sorry, everyone. The URL for the card sorting webinar is slightly too
long for many web clients. Here is a tiny alternative:

http://tinyurl.com/bm7eyt

Regards,

William

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William Hudson | 17 Feb 09:49 2009
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CHI 2009 Courses, Boston

(Apologies if you've seen this elsewhere. Notice that the first of these
courses is a half-day card sorting introduction. Early registration for
the conference has been extended until tomorrow.)

If you are attending CHI 2009 in Boston you probably already know that
you can attend courses for a nominal fee.

I would like to draw attention to three that I am running:

INNOVATIONS IN CARD SORTING (Monday, April 6)
A half-day course on how to use card sorting in web navigation/IA
design, using innovative tools and analyses.
http://chi2009.org/Attending/AdvanceProgram/courseC120.htm 

WEB DESIGN FOR USABILITY (Tuesday, April 7)
A smorgasbord of good design practice, usability, HCI and user
psychology with several very effective hands-on activities. (Rye bread
not provided<g>.)
http://chi2009.org/Attending/AdvanceProgram/courseC119.htm 

AJAX - DESIGN AND USABILITY (Wednesday, April 8)
A half-day exploration of the opportunities and challenges that AJAX and
similar rich internet application technology offer from a usability
perspective.
http://chi2009.org/Attending/AdvanceProgram/courseC121.htm 

Details of all available courses and conference registration are
available at http://www.chi2009.org

Note that early registration has been extended to February 18th and that
(Continue reading)

Buncha Samruayruen | 23 Feb 00:52 2009
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Card sorting!!!

Hi UCD members,
I’ve been reading up about card sorts and I like this technique. I've learnt that Card sorting is a
user-centered design method for increasing a system’s find ability. Also, according to Information
Architecture for the World Wide Web, card sorting “can provide insight into users’ mental models,
illuminating the way that they often tacitly group, sort and label tasks and content within their own
heads.” In my opinion, Card sorting is a great, reliable, inexpensive method for finding patterns in
how users would expect to find content or functionality. However, after I had read some information about
this technique, I’ve just wonder that the different types of users who access a site must complicate the
research, I would think. The way someone uses a site would change over time, 
 so new users might sort categories differently than experienced users. What is your experience with that?
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William Hudson | 23 Feb 15:44 2009
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RE: Card sorting!!!

Buncha -

There are a couple of points to consider:

- The first is that some sites rarely have any experienced users. For example, I've used Travelocity quite a
few times over the years, but never frequently enough to be what I would call an expert user. In fact, some
sites are updated so often that even frequent users have a hard time gaining familiarity.

- The second point is that you can investigate and account for differences between user communities. With
SynCaps (our card sorting analysis software), you can compare participant's results with what we refer
to as an 'expert' set. We use this frequently to show anomalies between users' sorts of a set of navigation
items and the current organisation of a website or intranet. You could do the same with a set of
inexperienced participants, comparing their results with an expert to show areas that may cause some
usability issues.

[short sales pitch] Both major versions of SynCaps support this. You can read more about it and see some
examples on our card sorting pages – http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/cardsortintro.shtml 

Also, we are running two workshops in the Spring. A half day at CHI 2009 in Boston on April 6th (see
http://chi2009.org/Attending/AdvanceProgram/courseC120.htm) and a full day in London - details
below my signature.

Regards,

William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
Design for Usability
UK 01235-522859
World +44-1235-522859
US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM
(Continue reading)

Alan Arnfeld | 23 Feb 22:13 2009
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RE: Card sorting!!!

Buncha
Card sorting is awesome, there are many different levels of using card sorting and I have used some of the approaches over the last 20 years.
 
In the very early days, when I was working in the Utilities sector - we were working on a new system and we could not decide how to organise the menu items.  We simply identified some key personas (Different types of roles/people)  that were important to us, found some representative people within  the company (this was for an internal tool) and asked them to organise the cards.
 
We then placed the results on a large piece of paper and organised them into the most appropriate order based on our findings.
 
We then mocked up the results and went round the houses again with a paper prototype.
 
This was a very long time ago - but it worked really well for us.
It is an important point that experience and expertise can modify behaviour - but it depends on the regularity of use and this can be described and tested through personas.  If you really have experienced expert users and novices, then make this a distinguishing feature of your analysis. 
 
In some systems - the navigation is modified to provide the right level of navigation for the level of experience of the user.  Focus on the basics first though would be my advice.
A simple example would be this website for ink cartridges 
 , it assumes very low expertise of users - although in the world there could be some expert users.  This site does not even have a search.  As it would take some expertise on the side of the user to know what to type in - in order to get reliable results
 
Alan
 


--- On Mon, 23/2/09, William Hudson <william.hudson <at> syntagm.co.uk> wrote:
From: William Hudson <william.hudson <at> syntagm.co.uk>
Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
To: "User-Centred Design (Discussion)" <ucd <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk>
Date: Monday, 23 February, 2009, 2:44 PM

Buncha - There are a couple of points to consider: - The first is that some sites rarely have any experienced users. For example, I've used Travelocity quite a few times over the years, but never frequently enough to be what I would call an expert user. In fact, some sites are updated so often that even frequent users have a hard time gaining familiarity. - The second point is that you can investigate and account for differences between user communities. With SynCaps (our card sorting analysis software), you can compare participant's results with what we refer to as an 'expert' set. We use this frequently to show anomalies between users' sorts of a set of navigation items and the current organisation of a website or intranet. You could do the same with a set of inexperienced participants, comparing their results with an expert to show areas that may cause some usability issues. [short sales pitch] Both major versions of SynCaps support this. You can read more about it and see some examples on our card sorting pages – http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/cardsortintro.shtml Also, we are running two workshops in the Spring. A half day at CHI 2009 in Boston on April 6th (see http://chi2009.org/Attending/AdvanceProgram/courseC120.htm) and a full day in London - details below my signature. Regards, William Hudson Syntagm Ltd Design for Usability UK 01235-522859 World +44-1235-522859 US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM mailto:william.hudson <at> syntagm.co.uk http://www.syntagm.co.uk skype:williamhudsonskype Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS. Advances in Card Sorting - One Day Workshop - London, 21 April 2009 http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/csadvances.shtml > -----Original Message----- > From: Buncha Samruayruen [mailto:bs0142 <at> unt.edu] > Sent: 22 February 2009 23:52 > To: UCD > Subject: Card sorting!!! > > ... different types of users who > access a site must complicate the research, I would think. The way > someone uses a site would change over time, so new users might sort > categories differently than experienced users. What is your experience > with that? --- You are currently subscribed to ucd as: aarnfeld <at> yahoo.co.uk. To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-44218-235.577ef1154f3240ad5b9b413aa7346a1e <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk
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William Hudson | 2 Mar 11:05 2009
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Card Sorting Webinar Recording

(Apologies if you receive more than one copy of this.)

 

If you missed last week' s card sorting webinar you can now find the slides and a recording on our website at http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/cardsortdl.shtml

 

The PowerPoint slides without audio are less than 1 MB. The version with audio is around 70 MB. The latter is recorded as a PowerPoint show, so you can skip to any slide and hear the relevant commentary.

 

Also, if you are interested in card sorting and are within striking distance of London, you might like to know about our one-day workshop on 21 April. Details are available at http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/csadvances.shtml

 

Regards,

William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
Design for Usability
UK 01235-522859
World +44-1235-522859
US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM
mailto:william.hudson <at> syntagm.co.uk
http://www.syntagm.co.uk

skype:williamhudsonskype

 

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales.

Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS.

 

Advances in Card Sorting - One Day Workshop

 - London, 21 April 2009

http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/csadvances.shtml

 


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Donna Spencer | 3 Mar 06:41 2009
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Re: Card sorting!!!

Sorry I'm replying so late on this ;)

If you have very different users, it is best to analyse their results 
separately. That way you can see whether they are similar to each other 
or very different. That can help you make decisions about what you might 
do in the IA for the different audiences - sometimes even though they do 
things a bit differently in the card sort, you don't need to do much in 
the IA; sometimes you'll create an entirely different approach and 
information.

Donna

Buncha Samruayruen wrote:
> Hi UCD members,
> I’ve been reading up about card sorts and I like this technique. I've learnt that Card sorting is a
user-centered design method for increasing a system’s find ability. Also, according to Information
Architecture for the World Wide Web, card sorting “can provide insight into users’ mental models,
illuminating the way that they often tacitly group, sort and label tasks and content within their own
heads.” In my opinion, Card sorting is a great, reliable, inexpensive method for finding patterns in
how users would expect to find content or functionality. However, after I had read some information about
this technique, I’ve just wonder that the different types of users who access a site must complicate the
research, I would think. The way someone uses a site would change over time, so new users might sort
categories differently than experienced users. What is your experience with that?
>   

--

-- 
Donna Spencer - Maadmob
donna <at> maadmob.net
02 6255 4993 / 0409778693
http://maadmob.com.au/
http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/

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William Hudson | 3 Mar 17:10 2009
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RE: Card sorting!!!

Peter -

While I agree that there are some similarities between card sorting and affinity diagramming, I don't
think that one lead to the other. Affinity diagramming comes from the KJ Method which was only invented in
the 1960s. Philosophers, psychologists and information scientists (in various guises) have been
categorising concepts for many hundreds of years before that. In fact, even the methods of cluster
analysis and tree diagrams commonly used to process card sorts predate the KJ Method (although they came
after Aristotle<g>).

Also, there are some very important differences between card sorting and affinity diagramming. As it
happens, I cover these in my web design course at CHI 2009 in Boston - see
http://chi2009.org/Attending/AdvanceProgram/courseC119.htm 

Basically, card sorting is trying to investigate categories and terminology while affinity diagramming
is much more about concepts, descriptions and the voice of the customer (at least as practised by Karen
Holtzblatt and her colleagues). Anyone interested in affinity diagramming should have a look at Jared
Spools web page on the subject (http://www.uie.com/articles/kj_technique/) and either a Karen
Holtzblatt's books on contextual design.

Regards,

William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
Design for Usability
UK 01235-522859
World +44-1235-522859
US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM
mailto:william.hudson <at> syntagm.co.uk
http://www.syntagm.co.uk

skype:williamhudsonskype 

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales.
Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS.

Advances in Card Sorting - One Day Workshop
 - London, 21 April 2009
http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/csadvances.shtml 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Capell [mailto:psc <at> sei.cmu.edu]
> Sent: 03 March 2009 15:19
> To: UCD
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
> 
> Hi,
> 
> Card sorting is apparently a slight modification to "affinity
> diagramming" about which there is much (older) literature in the area
> of "meeting management." I think it is a very powerful technique (when
> the group/team/users are cooperative). Often it is coupled with first a
> session of brainstorming, which when conducted by the rules is a very
> helpful adjunct. There are even permutations of brainstorming/card
> sorting (affinity diagramming) called "nominal group technique" which
> allows for differences in personality type.
> 
>  Peter
> 


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