New Library Website: Card Sorts

Previously, I discussed the navigation and faqs for the new website. This time we’ll go over the card sort process to organize those FAQs. I had approximately 50 questions to organize in a semi-logical way. The questions could loosely be arranged into groups. For e.g. all the website account questions went together. All the fax related questions were made to be together too. So that is the first hierarchy which I grouped things under. These headers had to then be grouped in a few different sections. The particular page we built uses tabs to direct you to more specific information.

https://www.darienlibrary.org/faqs

Courtesy of Darien Library

I recruited three people to help with the card sort. Each header was written onto strips of index cards. I also brought a stack of blank ones so that new categories could be added. Each session was approximately 30 minutes. It was a little tough not offering commentary, but I did ask them questions about what they were thinking as they went along. As you’ll see, one person’s card sort was so perfect that I pretty much lifted it entirely for the website itself. Another person didn’t quite get the exercise so their help wasn’t quite as useful. The other repeated, “Keep it simple” multiple times as she worked. Once things were sorted and organized, I’d then ask them about the phrases. Was there a better term that could be used? I believe three headers were changed thanks to this exercise.

Questions
This is for the FAQ page as gathered from staff feedback on the most common questions they answer for patrons. On the new website, I need to organize these questions into common categories. Your task is to do the organization in this workshop. This is called a card sort. Two other people will also do this activity.

Why do you put X into that category?

Should anything’s title be changed?

What would you call these categories?

Photos

Card Sort 1 Courtesy of Darien Library

Card Sort 1
Courtesy of Darien Library

For the first card sort above, I met with our longest term staff member (40 years now?). She was working on the reference desk at the time, thus our limited amount of room to work.

Card Sort 2 Courtesy of Darien Library

Card Sort 2
Courtesy of Darien Library

The above card sort produced my favorite results. You’ll notice that I used the same category titles that was suggested. This person practically did all the work for us!

Card Sort 3 Part 1 Courtesy of Darien Library

Card Sort 3 Part 1
Courtesy of Darien Library

The results of this card sort (image above and below) was looking for fewer main categories and wanted greater simplicity.

Card Sort 3 Part 2 Courtesy of Darien Library

Card Sort 3 Part 2
Courtesy of Darien Library

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