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Card Sorting for User Experience Design

De Quincey, Ed; Mitchell, James


James Mitchell


This paper reviews types and uses of card sorting and how a relatively unpopularized variation of card sorting-'repeated single-criterion sorting'-can be applied to the information architecture design of digital music services. A total of 52 respondents were asked to sort, using their own choice of criteria, 12 popular songs using an online card sorting tool. Once respondents had chosen a construct for a particular sort e.g. 'Genre', they placed each card into a named category, e.g. 'Rock', 'Pop', and were encouraged to repeat this process until they could think of no more constructs. High levels of agreement were found for a small number of constructs such as 'genre', 'gender' and 'speed of song', but the remaining constructs were individual to each respondent e.g. 'songs that make me cry'. The results highlighted differences with current approaches to music categorization, as well as the potential for repeated single-criterion sorting to be used to design faceted navigation structures and form part of the user-centred design process.


De Quincey, E., & Mitchell, J. (2022). Card Sorting for User Experience Design. Interacting with Computers, 33(4), 442 - 457.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 30, 2022
Publication Date Jul 11, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 19, 2023
Journal Interacting with Computers
Print ISSN 0953-5438
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Issue 4
Pages 442 - 457
Keywords UX); user experience (UXD; user-centered design (UCD); faceted navigation; information architecture; card sorting; requirements elicitation
Publisher URL