Thanks to everyone who took part in our online card sorting exercise last week. We had a great response, and it was really helpful in putting together a more cohesive and understandable structure for our upcoming FCC redesign. Without further ado, here's what we landed on:
- News & Reports
- Policy & Regulations
- Consumer Information
A couple of notes about the results: first, there was a lot of disagreement among our participants. I attribute this to the fact that we were basing the exercise on the existing content, rather than the content that should be there -- there were a fair number of unclear descriptions and redundant pages that probably made things harder than they needed to be. Before any organization embarks on a card sorting exercise they should go through their content to get rid of the excess, make sure everything is understandable to a user, and combine content areas that are similar in nature. Doing this first will make it easier for the people participating in the card sorting and will mean less time spent analyzing the final data.
Secondly, card sorting is as much an art as a science. There were many responses that were similar, many that were different, and some that fell into a gray area. We used our best judgment to come up with something reasonable based on your input, given the allotted time. We also didn't necessarily use every idea offered -- many of you suggested a Resources section, for instance, but that isn't always the most cohesive or understandable kind of grouping when thinking about users. If you'd like to learn more about this handy tool, here is a book worth reading: http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/.
Thanks as always to the folks at WebSort for allowing us to use their tool for this project, and hopefully we'll get to take another spin with it in the future. Thanks for all your help, and keep an eye out for the FCC comps in the not-too-distant future!