With card sorting, the mental model of users can be observed.

What we do?


100-200 participants, "real" potential users, sort content elements according to their personal liking in an online survey. The subsequent cluster analysis gives an understanding of the hierarchical relations of the content elements for the target group. With an appropriate grouping of content, usage effectiveness and efficiency can be optimized even before the interaction design begins.


What are typical questions?


• Which elements should be grouped together in a sitemap or on a page?

• Which elements should be highlighted?

• Where do we need cross-references?


How does it help?


• Minimization of search efforts for users

• Intuitive, easy-to-use navigation

• Avoidance of misclicks in the navigation

• Higher user dwell time and lower bounce rate lead to positive SEO effects

• Moving away from a company-centric view to true user-centricity


What are the limitations?


• Content elements (i.e., content, functionality) for a website or app must be known 

Key Infos

When to use?

When content and function ideas are available and can be described. 

Combine with

A tree test after a sitemap has been defined. A usability test when functional layouts are available..

Variants and options

An online card sort can usually handle 50-60 content elements. If there are more elements to sort, a larger sample can be used in a special setting. 


When do I need a card sorting study?

When content is to be structured, card sorting is always helpful. Optimally, it is used early in the development process, but also when an offer is to be restructured or updated. The focus on content makes it necessary that at least basic features of the content are already thought through. 

How long does it take to perform a card sort?

A simple card sorting can be completely implemented in 3 weeks.

How much content can be assigned in a card sort?

The number of headings per card sorting is limited to about 40. A minimum sample of 100 participants is useful for this. For more extensive websites, the sample can be multiplied. The results can then be merged afterwards, so that 100 and more content rubrics can also be assigned.

What do I need to contribute for card sorting?

The current or planned content of the website is the basis for the analysis. Together with our consultants, the content to be sorted is determined. They also take over the formulation of the content to be assigned. The current navigation names are not used, but rather descriptions of the content in order to be able to make an uninfluenced assignment. 

Michael Wörmann

Managing Partner

+49 89 2050 5560 

m.woermann (AT) house-of-communication.com