Card sorting allows you to discover how your users categorize and understand information. It's a great way to understand how your users think about the structure of your design.
Card sorting is useful to:
- Validate how people perceive information on a website or app.
- Understand where users expect certain content to be found.
- Get inspiration for labeling and grouping content.
- Segment how different user groups understand the content.
In this article:
- Best practices
- Create a card sorting block
- Customize your card sorting instructions
- Set the card sorting type (open vs. closed)
- Add and edit your cards
- Add and edit your categories
- Card sorting results
- While there's no hard limit on the number of cards/categories you can include in a Card Sort, we'd recommend limiting them to avoid overwhelming your testers.
- To avoid bias, you have the option to shuffle your cards/categories so that they're presented to testers in random order.
Create a card sorting block
Here's how to add a card sorting block to your maze:
- Open your draft maze, or create a new one.
- In the draft maze, choose Card Sort from the list of blocks.
Customize your card sorting instructions
You can use the default title and instructions you see in the preview. To add your own, enable the Customize instructions toggle.
Set the card sorting type (open vs. closed)
With Maze, you can run both open and closed card sorts.
- Closed: Testers group cards into predefined categories. This method works well at later stages of a project, as it allows you to evaluate whether already established terminology and structures are intuitive to your users.
Open: Testers group cards into categories they create. This more flexible approach works well in the early/exploratory stages of a project, when you're looking to get a more accurate grasp of your users' mental models for grouping and labeling content.
Open card sorting is a paid plan feature.
To set the card sorting type, click the Closed or Open toggle in the maze builder.
Add and edit your cards
Click + Add cards to add the cards to be sorted (at least 1).
To add cards individually, click + Add new card, type the name of the card, and press Enter.
To add a batch of cards, click Add in bulk and paste the cards, separated by a comma or a new line.
To save, click Done.
To edit existing cards, click + Edit to open the card editor.
Click each card to edit it. Click and drag to change the order of the cards.
Add descriptions to your cards
You can provide more context by adding short descriptions to your cards. The descriptions will appear as a tooltip next to the card name.
To add descriptions to the cards:
- When adding or editing cards, click the toggle Add tooltip descriptions.
- This will reveal a field where you can enter a description for each card.
There's a limit of 250 characters.
- To save, click Done at the bottom of the modal.
Add images to your cards
You can also attach an image to each card to display to testers during the card sort.
To add images to the cards:
- When adding or editing cards, click the toggle Add images.
- This will reveal a button to upload an image for each card.
- To display only the image to testers, click the toggle Hide card name.
- To save, click Done.
If needed, enable Shuffle cards to present cards in random order — this might be helpful to reduce bias.
Allow partial sorting
If needed, enable Allow partial sorting to allow participants to continue without having to sort all cards. This might be helpful to prevent skewed results caused by testers placing cards on a random category (for instance, if they're unsure what a card means or where it should be placed) in order to move on with a maze.
To delete cards, open the card editor and click the Delete () icon next to each card name. To delete cards in bulk, click the More () menu and select Delete all cards.
Add and edit your categories (closed card sorting)
Click + Add categories to add the categories into which the cards should be sorted (at least 2).
Click + Add new category to add categories individually.
To add a batch of categories, click Add in bulk and paste the categories, separated by a comma or a new line.
To save, click Done.
To edit existing categories, click + Edit to open the category editor.
Add a description to your categories
You can provide more context by adding short descriptions to your categories. The descriptions will appear as a tooltip next to the category name.
To add descriptions to your categories:
- When adding or editing categories, click the toggle Add tooltip descriptions.
- This will reveal a field where you can enter a description for each category.
- To save, click Done.
If needed, enable Shuffle categories to present categories in random order — this might be helpful to reduce bias.
To delete categories, click the Delete () icon next to each category name. To delete categories in bulk, click the More () menu and select Delete all categories.
See how your card sort block will look to testers in this article: Previewing a card sort block
Card sorting results
To learn more about your card sort results dashboard, check out this article: Understanding your card sorting results