Early Saturday morning when I was returning from a friend’s place, I had to find the bus stop by walking through the snow in an unfamiliar place. After walking for a minute or so through the snow and having no one to ask for directions, I just relied on freshly made foot prints that would lead me to my destination, which was different from the direction the vehicles were heading.
Be it on a cold wintry morning or on a complex website, I do not want to spend a lot of time looking for what I want. Card sorting is a cheap and effective technique that could be used internally within a company or with users to understand how content can be organized. This is a sure way to understand people’s mental models on how information is organized and accessed, and there really is no one magical right way to organize content. Though different people will organize content differently, repeated attempts can lead to common themes or categories such as location, color, functionality and so on.
One might expect a user to find Information X by navigating through a three-tier menu system, but the user might just give up going through the menu and resort to using the search function all the time. Not because search function is easy, but navigating through the menu is harder. So it’s imperative to understand where the user expects to see X at.
I’m keeping this short. The Oscars are on! OMG.