Cardsorting and wayfinding

  • Yasaman Shamloo's picture
    August 10, 2022

You are tired from hearing students and staff complaining about finding information on your website? Staff members keep on getting phone calls about how to reach a specific application on your department page? What do all these issues have in common? 

Difficult navigation that prevents people from finding what they need on your website.


The ability of users finding what they are looking for has the biggest impact on the success or failure of your website. It can affect the user experience, search engine rankings, and your conversion rates. Now what can be done to solve this problem? At KWall we approach cardsorting as a method to organize content on websites, making sure everything is understandable and user-friendly. The results from our card sorting sessions help enhance sites' overall information hierarchy. 

Card sorting? What is it?

Simply said, card sorting is a user experience (UX)  method, helping us to unfold users' mental models, showing us how they mentally categorize information and the common terminology they look for to find answers to their questions on a website. 


What do I need and how is it done?

Three types of card sorting include:

  • Closed
  • Open
  • hybrid

In a closed card sorting session we provide the user with categories and ask them to group the labels within those categories. In an open cardsorting session we ask the users to name their own categories for labels they want to group with each other. In a hybrid session we give the users the opportunity to add any categories they find fit to the grouping already provided to them.


After we have decided on the type of card sorting, we decide if we want to have a moderated session or unmoderated sessions. With an unmoderated session, we will send the session link to as many users available, while at a moderated session only a number of users will attend the session. 


The next step will be getting together as a team and figuring out the main topics that represent the main content on your website. At KWALL we have realized there are some common problems across projects with this type of testing. Larger websites have a more difficult time narrowing down their content to test with card sorting, that is why it is crucial to figure out which areas and content need to be highlighted with this study. Also, recruiting users that will take the time to complete a session is a step that may cause problems, that is why we always recommend sending the remote test link to as many users as possible.


The results from our card sorting sessions will give us the ability to gain insight into users' mental models and how they understand your website, resulting in a stronger information architecture, enhancing users' wayfinding experience.