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INP 153: Designing for the User Experience I


Whenever you are reorganizing a complex website or designing a complex website, ... Persuasiveness. Much more... Usability. What is Usability? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: INP 153: Designing for the User Experience I

INP 153 Designing for the User Experience I
  • Lecture 5 Performing the Card Sort

The card sort
  • When should you use a card sort?
  • Whenever you are reorganizing a complex website
    or designing a complex website, you can use a
    card sort to construct and validate your
    organization system.

What is a card sort
  • As previously discussed, a card sort is a cheap
    and powerful tool for organizing content in an
    information system.
  • All you need are note cards, time to prepare the
    note cards, and participants to perform the card

What is a card sort cont
  • Your participants will organize the note cards
    you provide them with into categories that seem
    intuitive or appropriate.
  • While they do this, you observe how they feel
    about the labels, how long it takes them to
    classify the individual cards, etc.
  • At the end of the card sort, you conduct a brief
    exit interview.

Two dimensions of card sort…
  • Expert vs. novice
  • Open vs. closed

Preparing the note cards
  • Write down the most important web pages and a
    broad selection of typical content on separate
    note cards.
  • Include the title of the page/content. Including
    the URL will help you access the page, but put it
    on the back of the card to avoid influencing the

Preparing the note cards cont
  • Also prepare header cards, or a poster board that
    has the categories labeled on it.
  • Now, all your participants have to do is place
    the note cards in the category!

Useful equipment
  • Pen/paper
  • A worksheet with each card and codes for the
    categories if conducting more than one card sort.
  • Stop watch.

Learning from examples Case study
  • I conducted two card sorts for the Undergraduate
    Library (UGL) at the University of Michigan one
    where I was the participant (expert, open) and
    one where a group of librarians were the
    participants (expert, partially-open).
  • What purposes did these card sorts serve?

While conducting the card sort
  • The researcher conducting the card sort should
    take notes!
  • Any problem cards/categories?
  • With what are users showing the most
    confusion/discomfort ?

While conducting the card sort cont
  • The researcher should also encourage the
    participants to think aloud!
  • At the beginning of any testing, always tell the
    participants that you are testing the design, not
    the participants abilities.

Lets conduct a card sort
  • Finding volunteers is always one of the greatest
    difficulties youll face when performing the card
  • Those of you who arent performing the card sort
    should be taking notes
  • Where is the user struggling?
  • Are there any content items or categories that
    seem particularly troublesome?

At the end…
  • This would be the perfect time for an exit
  • In an exit interview, the researcher asks the
    participant(s) a set of pre-determined questions
    to find out more about how they felt about the
    categories, the labels on the page, and more
    generally, about the content.

At the end… cont
  • As a class, lets think of some good questions
    that are appropriate for the exit interview for
    the last exercise!

The value of the card sort
  • Dont have to rely on the designers limited
    knowledge of the content the memory is
    externally stored on the cards, and are
    recalled by simply reading the cards!
  • Can retested simply by having someone else
    perform the card sort!
  • For generation and validation!

Perspective What is the User Experience
  • So far, this class has been mostly about
    Information Architecture.
  • However, this class is called Designing for the
    User Experience, and the User Experience entails
    much more than Information Architecture.
  • User Experience includes…

User experience
  • Information Architecture
  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Graphic design
  • Content
  • Persuasiveness
  • Much more…

  • What is Usability? Usability involves the
    successful completion of a task within a certain
    time. This is explored through user testing.
  • Usable items should meet a criteria for user
    completion… often 85 or 95.
  • Hot spots are areas that users often fail at.
    Critical failures involve features that must be
    made more usable before the product is
  • Benchmarks are timed tests at which the
    participant should finish a task…
  • Failure to meet the timed benchmark may indicate
    design flaws

  • Individuals with visual deficits (blindness,
    color deficiencies), motor deficits (including
    inability to use a mouse), and hearing problems
    use the web, too!
  • Does your website accommodate them? (E.g., can
    screen readers read your code? Is your website
    keyboard-enabled? Does your video have subtitles
    for individuals who cannot hear the content? Etc.)

Graphic Design
  • You will have to work with individuals with art
  • The non-aesthetic of Jakob Nielsen has turned off
    many web artists, who often equate the term
    usable with stale or boring.
  • To dismiss front-end design as mere icing is
    to jeopardize the success of any site.
  • Curt Cloninger, Fresh Styles for Web Designers,
    on the problem of down playing the aesthetic in
    favor of what he calls usability.

Content web writing and web design
  • The web uses many kinds of engineers HTML
    designers, programmers, database designers as
    well as editors and web writers to prepare and
    update content for the web.
  • If you go on to study more about usability,
    information architecture, graphic arts or web
    writing, you need to have a background in HTML!

  • Computers can be used to persuade!
  • E.g., http//

Synthesizing a view of the user experience
  • Interacting with other professionals will
    demonstrate the difficulty of synthesizing a view
    of the user experience…

Bringing it all together…
  • Design skills take time to develop. They are not
    easily communicated, and exploring on your own
    (as well as practicing on your own) are the best
    way to develop better skills.

  • Lets review these websites, and discuss what
    weve learned this semester about the user
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

For next week…
  • User experience deliverable I and homework 4.
  • Review this weeks readings.
  • We will prepare for the mid-term.