Card sorting is a technique in user experience design in which a person tests a group of subject experts or users to develop a dendrogram (category tree) or folksonomy. It is a beneficial method for designing information architecture, workflows, menu structures, or website navigation paths.


Card sorting employs a low-tech approach. An individual performing the test first recognizes key concepts and writes them on index cards or Post-it notes. Test subjects, individually or periodically as a group, then organize the cards to illustrate how they see the layout and connections of the information.

A card sorting process is generally carried out when developing a navigation layout for an environment that delivers a variety of content and functions, such as a website.


Q1. What are the types of card sorting?

There are primarily two types: 

  • Open card sorting: participants create their categories.
  • Closed card sorting: participants sort cards into predefined categories.

Q2. What are the benefits of card sorting?

Card sorting helps identify patterns in how users think about and categorize information. It informs the structure and organization of websites, applications, and other information systems, ultimately improving usability and user satisfaction.

Q3. When can card sorting be used?

Card sorting is particularly useful in the early stages of design or redesign projects when you’re trying to establish a logical and intuitive information architecture.