William Hudson | 2 Mar 11:05 2009
Picon

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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Diarmad McNally | 4 Mar 10:02 2009
Picon

RE: Card sorting!!!


Morning,

Another interesting difference between card sorting and affinity diagramming is that the latter
attempts to achieve consensus in a group and is therefore subject to group bias (e.g. strong characters
leading the group etc.) while the consensus agreed through card sorting is aggregated from individual responses.

Regards,
Diarmad McNally
Interaction Design Studio

t: (+44) 07808 297289
e: diarmad <at> ixdStudio.com
w: www.ixdStudio.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ixdStudio

--- On Tue, 3/3/09, 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: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 4:10 PM
> 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
> > 
> 
> 
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to ucd as:
> dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> leave-44499-378.8bf1211fd4b7b94528899de0a43b9fb3 <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk

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Peter Capell | 4 Mar 15:49 2009
Picon

RE: Card sorting!!!

Good Morning,

Sorry, I failed to comprehend the _difference_ you are alluding to. "Consensus" and "individual
response" achieving it = "consensus."

 Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: Diarmad McNally [mailto:dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 4:03 AM
To: User-Centred Design (Discussion)
Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!


Morning,

Another interesting difference between card sorting and affinity diagramming is that the latter
attempts to achieve consensus in a group and is therefore subject to group bias (e.g. strong characters
leading the group etc.) while the consensus agreed through card sorting is aggregated from individual responses.

Regards,
Diarmad McNally
Interaction Design Studio

t: (+44) 07808 297289
e: diarmad <at> ixdStudio.com
w: www.ixdStudio.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ixdStudio




--- On Tue, 3/3/09, 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: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 4:10 PM
> 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
> > 
> 
> 
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to ucd as:
> dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> leave-44499-378.8bf1211fd4b7b94528899de0a43b9fb3 <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk


      

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Peter Capell | 4 Mar 16:04 2009
Picon

RE: Card sorting!!!

Hi,

Ok, but in my original post on this comparison, I did mention something called "nominal group technique,"
which has to do with making the "category collapsing*" activity into a "private thing" (to be adjudicated
after the fact). Anyway, I suspect that my raising the "affinity diagramming" idea may simply be an
irritating comparison to those who feel enamored of "Card Sorting," so I think I'll drop this thread.
Thank you for your reply.

 Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: Diarmad McNally [mailto:dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 10:01 AM
To: User-Centred Design (Discussion); Peter Capell
Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!


Hi

Generally, card sorting is carried out on individuals while affinity diagramming is a group activity.
This means that AD results are subject to group dynamics to reach consensus while this is not so for CS as the
responses are individual and it is the analysis which provides the 'consensus' which is reflective of the group.

Diarmad

--- On Wed, 4/3/09, Peter Capell <psc <at> sei.cmu.edu> wrote:

> From: Peter Capell <psc <at> sei.cmu.edu>
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
> To: "Diarmad McNally" <dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com>, "User-Centred Design 
> (Discussion)" <ucd <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk>
> Date: Wednesday, 4 March, 2009, 2:49 PM Good Morning,
> 
> Sorry, I failed to comprehend the _difference_ you are alluding to. 
> "Consensus" and "individual response" achieving it = "consensus."
> 
>  Peter
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Diarmad McNally [mailto:dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 4:03 AM
> To: User-Centred Design (Discussion)
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
> 
> 
> Morning,
> 
> Another interesting difference between card sorting and affinity 
> diagramming is that the latter attempts to achieve consensus in a 
> group and is therefore subject to group bias (e.g. strong characters 
> leading the group etc.) while the consensus agreed through card 
> sorting is aggregated from individual responses.
> 
> Regards,
> Diarmad McNally
> Interaction Design Studio
> 
> t: (+44) 07808 297289
> e: diarmad <at> ixdStudio.com
> w: www.ixdStudio.com

> Twitter: www.twitter.com/ixdStudio

> 
> 
> 
> --- On Tue, 3/3/09, 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: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 4:10 PM 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
> > > 
> > 
> > 
> > ---
> > You are currently subscribed to ucd as:
> > dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com.
> > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> >
> leave-44499-378.8bf1211fd4b7b94528899de0a43b9fb3 <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk
> 
> 
>       
> 
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to ucd as: psc <at> sei.cmu.edu.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> leave-44522-310.06eb61b839a0cefee4967c67ccb099dc <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk


      

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Diarmad McNally | 4 Mar 16:01 2009
Picon

RE: Card sorting!!!


Hi

Generally, card sorting is carried out on individuals while affinity diagramming is a group activity.
This means that AD results are subject to group dynamics to reach consensus while this is not so for CS as the
responses are individual and it is the analysis which provides the 'consensus' which is reflective of the group.

Diarmad

--- On Wed, 4/3/09, Peter Capell <psc <at> sei.cmu.edu> wrote:

> From: Peter Capell <psc <at> sei.cmu.edu>
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
> To: "Diarmad McNally" <dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com>, "User-Centred Design (Discussion)" <ucd <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk>
> Date: Wednesday, 4 March, 2009, 2:49 PM
> Good Morning,
> 
> Sorry, I failed to comprehend the _difference_ you are
> alluding to. "Consensus" and "individual
> response" achieving it = "consensus."
> 
>  Peter
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Diarmad McNally [mailto:dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 4:03 AM
> To: User-Centred Design (Discussion)
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
> 
> 
> Morning,
> 
> Another interesting difference between card sorting and
> affinity diagramming is that the latter attempts to achieve
> consensus in a group and is therefore subject to group bias
> (e.g. strong characters leading the group etc.) while the
> consensus agreed through card sorting is aggregated from
> individual responses.
> 
> Regards,
> Diarmad McNally
> Interaction Design Studio
> 
> t: (+44) 07808 297289
> e: diarmad <at> ixdStudio.com
> w: www.ixdStudio.com
> Twitter: www.twitter.com/ixdStudio
> 
> 
> 
> --- On Tue, 3/3/09, 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: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 4:10 PM
> > 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
> > > 
> > 
> > 
> > ---
> > You are currently subscribed to ucd as:
> > dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com.
> > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> >
> leave-44499-378.8bf1211fd4b7b94528899de0a43b9fb3 <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk
> 
> 
>       
> 
> ---
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Tom Kerwin | 4 Mar 17:15 2009

RE: Card sorting!!!


Hi,

I must admit, I can't tell what the conflict is between the two techniques.

Having looked into the links that William posted about Karen Holtzblatt's
version of Affinity Diagramming, it seems to me that there's a key
difference in the different groups of people the two techniques are most
usefully applied to.

It seems that Affinity Diagramming is used (at least by Karen's team) to
gain understanding, consensus and buy-in from different parties within an
organisation. Card Sorting (at least the way I've used it so far) is focused
on gaining understanding of how users or customers outside the organisation
understand conceptual groupings. Then you can compare the way the customers
think with the way the staff (or expert users) think.

I'm sure each technique could be used with the other group of people. I've
done card sorting with staff before. I tend to include card sorting as part
of user testing sessions, so it's generally done with an individual. It
seems that affinity diagramming would need more of a focus group type
setting.

Having seen this info, I'm really keen to try affinity diagramming with
difficult clients. I hope it can help avoid some of the political problems
that often crop up in larger organisations.

Cheers,

Tom

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Capell [mailto:psc <at> sei.cmu.edu] 
Sent: 04 March 2009 15:05
To: User-Centred Design (Discussion)
Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!

Hi,

Ok, but in my original post on this comparison, I did mention something
called "nominal group technique," which has to do with making the "category
collapsing*" activity into a "private thing" (to be adjudicated after the
fact). Anyway, I suspect that my raising the "affinity diagramming" idea may
simply be an irritating comparison to those who feel enamored of "Card
Sorting," so I think I'll drop this thread. Thank you for your reply.

 Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: Diarmad McNally [mailto:dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 10:01 AM
To: User-Centred Design (Discussion); Peter Capell
Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!

Hi

Generally, card sorting is carried out on individuals while affinity
diagramming is a group activity. This means that AD results are subject to
group dynamics to reach consensus while this is not so for CS as the
responses are individual and it is the analysis which provides the
'consensus' which is reflective of the group.

Diarmad

--- On Wed, 4/3/09, Peter Capell <psc <at> sei.cmu.edu> wrote:

> From: Peter Capell <psc <at> sei.cmu.edu>
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
> To: "Diarmad McNally" <dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com>, "User-Centred Design 
> (Discussion)" <ucd <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk>
> Date: Wednesday, 4 March, 2009, 2:49 PM Good Morning,
> 
> Sorry, I failed to comprehend the _difference_ you are alluding to. 
> "Consensus" and "individual response" achieving it = "consensus."
> 
>  Peter
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Diarmad McNally [mailto:dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 4:03 AM
> To: User-Centred Design (Discussion)
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
> 
> 
> Morning,
> 
> Another interesting difference between card sorting and affinity 
> diagramming is that the latter attempts to achieve consensus in a 
> group and is therefore subject to group bias (e.g. strong characters 
> leading the group etc.) while the consensus agreed through card 
> sorting is aggregated from individual responses.
> 
> Regards,
> Diarmad McNally
> Interaction Design Studio
> 
> t: (+44) 07808 297289
> e: diarmad <at> ixdStudio.com
> w: www.ixdStudio.com
> Twitter: www.twitter.com/ixdStudio
> 
> 
> 
> --- On Tue, 3/3/09, 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: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 4:10 PM 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
> > > 
> > 
> > 
> > ---
> > You are currently subscribed to ucd as:
> > dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com.
> > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> >
> leave-44499-378.8bf1211fd4b7b94528899de0a43b9fb3 <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk
> 
> 
>       
> 
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to ucd as: psc <at> sei.cmu.edu.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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David Rondeau | 4 Mar 18:10 2009
Picon

Affinity Diagrams (was Re: Card sorting!!!)

I have a lot of experience doing affinity diagrams and while I agree with
your statement that it "attempts to achieve consensus in a group", I
strongly disagree with your notion that strong characters can lead the group
and create an individual bias.

I'm not sure what process you are using to create your affinity diagrams,
but we use the Contextual Design process, which makes it very difficult for
one person to bias the affinity. (I realize that this may be getting a
little off topic, but I thought it might be useful to describe a little of
the process and show how you can build affinities without individual bias.)

At the beginning of the process, we read the notes out loud, so that
everyone can get a sense of where notes are being placed. But after enough
notes are up, talking is discouraged and people place notes wherever they
think they should go on the wall. While people are putting notes up on the
wall, anyone can move any note to another part of the wall‹without having to
explain or justify why they think it should be moved.

During the process of adding labels to the notes that have been placed (we
use a 3 tier hierarchy of green>pink>blue>notes), we have many people each
working on different sections of the affinity to clean up and label the
chunks. 

This ensures that you get an affinity that truly represents the group mind.
You could argue that it is still a group bias, but it isn't an individual
bias. I could still argue that a group bias doesn't really matter anyway,
but that may depend on what you are using the affinity diagram for.

I'd be interested in hearing how you and others are creating affinities and
what you are using them for.

-dave

David B. Rondeau

Design Chair
Incontext Enterprises
http://www.incontextdesign.com  

On 3/4/09 4:02 AM, "Diarmad McNally" <dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com> wrote:

> 
> Morning,
> 
> Another interesting difference between card sorting and affinity diagramming
> is that the latter attempts to achieve consensus in a group and is therefore
> subject to group bias (e.g. strong characters leading the group etc.) while
> the consensus agreed through card sorting is aggregated from individual
> responses.
> 
> Regards,
> Diarmad McNally
> Interaction Design Studio
> 
> t: (+44) 07808 297289
> e: diarmad <at> ixdStudio.com
> w: www.ixdStudio.com
> Twitter: www.twitter.com/ixdStudio
> 
> 
> 
> --- On Tue, 3/3/09, 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: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 4:10 PM
>> 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
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ---
>> You are currently subscribed to ucd as:
>> dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com.
>> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
>> leave-44499-378.8bf1211fd4b7b94528899de0a43b9fb3 <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk
> 
> 
>       
> 
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to ucd as: db_rondeau <at> yahoo.com.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> leave-44522-370.d709f38ef758b5066ef31b18039b8ce5 <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk

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Donna Spencer | 4 Mar 21:46 2009
Picon

Re: Card sorting!!!

There's no conflict, they just are different things, like dogs and cats 
are. They have the same core aspect of making groups from smaller pieces.

Card sorting is usually done with the users of a product. They may 
undertake the sort as individuals or within small groups. Always more 
than one person/group will do the sort. You (the person who conducts the 
research) analyse the results from the activity to look for similarities 
and differences in approach that will help you make decisions about a 
project - usually to determine how content will be organised on 
something like a website.

Affinity diagramming is usually done with a team of folks who work 
together. Its most common use is to analyse research data such as user 
research or usability testing. An affinity diagramming session is done 
once, by a team, to identify broad patterns and findings from lots of 
small data like research observations. It doesn't have to be about 
building concensus, but about building an understanding.

So they both have at their core that someone sorts granular data into 
groups. But they are done by different people for different reasons.

And the only reason the distinction matters is one of communication. If 
you say to your boss - 'hey, I want to do a card sort', that means a 
different set of steps and outcomes compared to saying 'let's do an 
affinity diagramming session'.

Donna

Tom Kerwin wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I must admit, I can't tell what the conflict is between the two techniques.
>
> Having looked into the links that William posted about Karen Holtzblatt's
> version of Affinity Diagramming, it seems to me that there's a key
> difference in the different groups of people the two techniques are most
> usefully applied to.
>
> It seems that Affinity Diagramming is used (at least by Karen's team) to
> gain understanding, consensus and buy-in from different parties within an
> organisation. Card Sorting (at least the way I've used it so far) is focused
> on gaining understanding of how users or customers outside the organisation
> understand conceptual groupings. Then you can compare the way the customers
> think with the way the staff (or expert users) think.
>
> I'm sure each technique could be used with the other group of people. I've
> done card sorting with staff before. I tend to include card sorting as part
> of user testing sessions, so it's generally done with an individual. It
> seems that affinity diagramming would need more of a focus group type
> setting.
>
> Having seen this info, I'm really keen to try affinity diagramming with
> difficult clients. I hope it can help avoid some of the political problems
> that often crop up in larger organisations.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Tom
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Capell [mailto:psc <at> sei.cmu.edu] 
> Sent: 04 March 2009 15:05
> To: User-Centred Design (Discussion)
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
>
> Hi,
>
> Ok, but in my original post on this comparison, I did mention something
> called "nominal group technique," which has to do with making the "category
> collapsing*" activity into a "private thing" (to be adjudicated after the
> fact). Anyway, I suspect that my raising the "affinity diagramming" idea may
> simply be an irritating comparison to those who feel enamored of "Card
> Sorting," so I think I'll drop this thread. Thank you for your reply.
>
>  Peter
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Diarmad McNally [mailto:dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 10:01 AM
> To: User-Centred Design (Discussion); Peter Capell
> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
>
>
> Hi
>
> Generally, card sorting is carried out on individuals while affinity
> diagramming is a group activity. This means that AD results are subject to
> group dynamics to reach consensus while this is not so for CS as the
> responses are individual and it is the analysis which provides the
> 'consensus' which is reflective of the group.
>
> Diarmad
>
> --- On Wed, 4/3/09, Peter Capell <psc <at> sei.cmu.edu> wrote:
>
>   
>> From: Peter Capell <psc <at> sei.cmu.edu>
>> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
>> To: "Diarmad McNally" <dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com>, "User-Centred Design 
>> (Discussion)" <ucd <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk>
>> Date: Wednesday, 4 March, 2009, 2:49 PM Good Morning,
>>
>> Sorry, I failed to comprehend the _difference_ you are alluding to. 
>> "Consensus" and "individual response" achieving it = "consensus."
>>
>>  Peter
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Diarmad McNally [mailto:dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com]
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 4:03 AM
>> To: User-Centred Design (Discussion)
>> Subject: RE: Card sorting!!!
>>
>>
>> Morning,
>>
>> Another interesting difference between card sorting and affinity 
>> diagramming is that the latter attempts to achieve consensus in a 
>> group and is therefore subject to group bias (e.g. strong characters 
>> leading the group etc.) while the consensus agreed through card 
>> sorting is aggregated from individual responses.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Diarmad McNally
>> Interaction Design Studio
>>
>> t: (+44) 07808 297289
>> e: diarmad <at> ixdStudio.com
>> w: www.ixdStudio.com
>> Twitter: www.twitter.com/ixdStudio
>>
>>
>>
>> --- On Tue, 3/3/09, 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: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 4:10 PM 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
>>>>
>>>>         
>>> ---
>>> You are currently subscribed to ucd as:
>>> dermmcnally <at> yahoo.com.
>>> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
>>>
>>>       
>> leave-44499-378.8bf1211fd4b7b94528899de0a43b9fb3 <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk
>>
>>
>>       
>>
>> ---
>> You are currently subscribed to ucd as: psc <at> sei.cmu.edu.
>> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
>> leave-44522-310.06eb61b839a0cefee4967c67ccb099dc <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk
>>     
>
>
>       
>
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to ucd as: tom <at> moodia.com.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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>
> ---
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> To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-44548-389.c86a7ee3d8ef0b551ed58e354a836f2b <at> listman.syntagm.co.uk
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>   

--

-- 
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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