On May 1st, we asked beta testers to complete a card sort of grocery items. The main purpose of having a practice sort was to allow beta testers to try out the software (OptimalSort) that we would be using for the site content card sorts. We wanted everyone to have an opportunity to become comfortable using OptimalSort and to address any technical issues or concerns in using the application before we began card sorting tasks with content for the new website.
A secondary purpose in having a practice card sort was to create data the redesign team could use with OptimalSort analytic tools. Review of the sample set of data also helped us establish a process and method for analysis of card sort results.
Twenty-nine percent of the beta testers completed the practice card sort, giving us a nice set of results to work with. There were 54 cards in the practice card sort, but beta testers were only presented a randomized selection of 30 cards. Beta testers came up with over 150 group names for the cards they sorted. Based off the group names and the similarities in the cards sorted into those groups, we then created standardized categories to represent our fictitious grocery store. The end result is 11 grocery store aisles with the 54 grocery items grouped among the aisles.
We will apply the same methodology as we analyze the results of the card sorts for the website content.