University of Twente Student Theses


Predictive value of card sorting on browsing performance and user satisfaction

Sommer, J. (2012) Predictive value of card sorting on browsing performance and user satisfaction.

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Abstract:During the last decennia website usability and user experience has become more and more important as people spend increasing time-spans on the internet. A wide range of information and services have become available digitally, which were formerly only provided physically. One such example is e-Government. In order to create usable and satisfying websites card sorting has often been used as a tool to evaluate website usability and inform website design. However, it has never been established how good a categorization task - e.g. card sorting- actually mirrors a searching task, which is what most people do browsing the web. In order to establish how good card sorting predicts browsing performance and user satisfaction a 50 participant experiment is conducted. Hereby, participants searched 5 different items on 5 different municipal web sites; one per site. Usage of the search function was not permitted. Selected items were chosen because of their wide range of difference to items in the mental model of users, as established by an earlier card sort. Items that were clustered like the mental model exhibited a small distance, while items which were clustered with other items than in the mental model presented a large distance. Repeated measures analysis showed that distance to the mental model is a bad, if any predictor of browsing performance as measured by time and clicks/path length until finding the target item. Additionally, it has no predictive value on user satisfaction. These results suggest that the method of card sorting has to be questioned in the context of website evaluation and design.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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