Hybrid card sorting

New feature added to OptimalSort today: the Hybrid card sorting option.

What’s does this new feature do?

When creating a new survey in OptimalSort, you are asked to choose a card sort type in the ‘Categories’ tab. Before today, you only had two options to choose from; Open and Closed card sorting.
Open card sorting allows participants to create and name their own categories. Using the open card sorting method allows you to see how participants mentally classify the cards and what terms they use as categories.
Closed card sorting allows you to set and name your categories. This helps you evaluate if the category names you set provides an effective way of organizing content.
Hybrid card sorting is a mix of the open and closed card sorting methods. You can set predetermined categories, but if a participant cannot find a suitable category to sort a card, you can allow participants to create their own category during the survey. This is generally not recommended because you lose the analysis benefits of a closed sort, but it can be helpful in some cases.

When should I use the hybrid option?

  • If the system or website that you are designing is very large or complex and you are unsure how to predetermine categories for specific cards.
  • If partial information architecture exists and you are interested in seeing how participants label and sort the rest of your structure.
  • If you are unsure of all the categories you have created on a closed card sort. Open it up to the Hybrid option to evaluate your predetermine categories, along with participant created categories.

Learn some tips on how to pick cards for card sorting.
Happy sorting!

Published on Feb 05, 2014
Alan O'Neill
  • Alan O'Neill
  • Alan is Optimal Workshop's marketing manager and digital lightbulb. He's Irish, loves surfing, and has a weird fascination with Red Pandas. Find him on @optimalworkshop or @optimalAlan

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