This is part of a series of posts which is based on a 3-hour hands-on workshop I offer on this topic. Be sure and check out the preceding posts:
Card Sorting from A–Z: Overview
Card Sorting form A-Z: Part I – Why and When
Card Sorting from A-Z: Part II – How to Prepare for a Card Sort
Card Sorting from A–Z: Part III – How to Implement an Open Card Sort
Card Sorting from A–Z: Part IV – How to Analyze Results of an Open Card Sort
Card Sorting from A–Z: Part V – How to Make Recommendations Based on Findings
Card Sorting from A–Z: Part VI – How to Implement a Closed Card Sort
How to Conduct Analysis of a Closed Card Sort
Analysis of a closed card sort is a bit different that that for an open one. With a closed card sort you will be looking for:
- Whether articles have made it in to the categories you expected them to based on the open card sort
- How many articles have been miscategorized into those categories as well.
Analyzing the Data
- The first step in analyzing the data is to plug all of the information into a spreadsheet, or if you have done an online sort, to download the Excel-compatible file.
- Next, you will want to start to determine which categories did the best in capturing all of their related items, and which categories recieved items errantly placed into them. While there are of course no right or wrong answers, you will have made certain assumptions based on your open card sort. Now you are testing that these assumptions are true – for example if everyone in your open sort placed an item such as career opportunities into an “About the Library” category, and therefore you determined that an “About the Library” category was necessary, you now will want to make sure than everyone in this closed sort, also placed career opportunities into the “About the Library” category.
- One way to go about this analysis is to make a list of each category, and then, looking at the spreadsheet, determine which content items have been unexpectedly placed into which categories. Your list may look something like this:
- A list such as the one above tallies the errant articles or items which have been placed into each category, it takes a bit of a closer inspection, however to determine how successful each category was in capturing all of its related items. If you list each of the errant items under your total tally, you will then begin to see which categories didn’t do so well in that area. For example, at first glance, the Online Resources category seems very succesful – its miscategorized items are at 0, however, it didn’t do so well capturing all of its related items when you look closer – Library News feeds has been placed in 2 other categories, Electronic Books and Digital Audiobooks have both been placed in another category by multiple participants.
- Your next task is to bring your analysis to this closer, more focused level. So your next document, expands upon the first one and may look something like this:
About the Library Miscategorized – 0
My Account Miscategorized – 0
Collections Miscategoried – 5
Digital Audiobook Collection x3
Online Resources Miscategorized – 0
Events Miscategorized – 1
Teen Anime Clubs
Almost nothing in here, may want to consider whether an Events category is necessary.
Programs & Services Miscategorized – 2
Volunteer at the library
Library News Feeds
Recommended Miscategorized – 0
Misc. – 3
Library News Feeds