About Card Sorting
Card sorting is an exercise in user experience design where a group of users sort cards with various words on them into categories. It is often used to determine a website map or to test the language of product, so the cards’ words would be things like “Pricing”, “Testimonials”, or “Tour”.
I recently did something like card sorting with a client, but less structured. The terms on my cards were very random, anywhere from “Beyonce” to “corn” to “Trust”. Each of us in the meeting grabbed a handful of cards and spent a few minutes organizing them in any way that made sense.
This gave me the idea to design “Brain-cleansing” games (horrible name, I know). They would be simple exercises that help you break down creative barriers and allow thoughts to flow more freely – a solution for writers block or if you are stuck on a bug in your code. Clear your mind with one or two rounds then return to your work. Here is the first I’ve come up with (basically lnfnmo):
Brain Cleanse game #1: Left & Right
- Gather/prepare these things:
- A deck of 20 cards (download some). I taped mine to playing cards for easier handling.
- Some sort of divider, like a chopstick or a pencil.
- A timer if playing alone (optional).
- Choose two cards without looking at them.
- Turn both over and place one on the left side of the divider and one on the right. Leave a few card lengths between the card and the divider. Like this:
- Next, pick up the rest of the cards, words down.
- If playing alone, set a timer for how long you think it will take you to sort the cards. If playing with someone else, see who can sort their cards the fastest.
- Start the timer. Take a card from the pile and decide if it goes on the left or right. Try to arrange them in a spectrum, like this:
- Repeat the above until you are out of cards.
- Make it more interesting:
- If you are playing with a friend, have them play a round with your cards and compare results.
- Create a sheet of pictures to play with instead of words.
- You tell me…
You want to try it out, right? Well, lucky for you I have prepared a few sheets of terms, download them here (same as what I linked to above). In the folder you will find a set of celebrity names, nouns, and capitalized adjectives.