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Card Sorting

The Card Sorting is a usability optimization method that allows improving navigation on a web portal during its conception stage. The main goal of card sorting is an easy-to-use design. The results of Card Sorting flow directly into the work of web developers and designers.


At least 15 test persons are selected for the card sorting. Each of these cards contains maps on which individual menu titles or category names are written. Subsequently, each individual tester is tasked with putting this menu item in a order that makes sense to them.

Alternatively, testers can also receive blank cards, so that they can first write their own category names or menu items, and then organize everything. Here you can also specify the number of possible menu alternatives.

Depending on the scope and size of the navigation structure, card sorting can be carried out at one time or in several phases. The method can also be used for a single part of the menu or for a subcategory.

After using the test group to establish the different navigation structures, the evaluate the results. Individual proposals are discussed and selected. With card sorting, which can be performed online or on the PC, a respective software program can combine all the individual results into one overall result.


In principle, the card sorting usability optimization process can be applied to any type of planned organizational structure. Classically, the method is used for the easy-to-use design of web portal menus or navigation items. At the same time, card sorting can also help build an intranet, or contribute to a clear structure of scientific essays and posts.


Card sorting ensures that web designers and programmers develop an understanding of how a user navigate through an area of a web portal. Based on these preliminary considerations, the structure of a home page may be more meaningful. In addition, you can clearly define what content is placed on the home page and how individual menu items are named.


The advantages of the method can be quickly listed:

  • in most cases only one expert is needed for the task
  • implementation is not local
  • in principle, anyone can become a test subject
  • there is little preparation effort

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