Quick data wins part 1: Improve your website structure with a card sorting workshop

We’ve said it before : never underestimate the significance of an effortless user experience. An intuitive navigation through your website results in happy customers that will keep coming back.

“How can I achieve that?”, you ask? Let us introduce you to a technique called card sorting, which will tune in to your users and let them guide website navigation. To make it even more exciting, you can explore the results in an interactive application.

Want to get started with data and are you looking for quick-wins that help you convince co-workers and stakeholders of the value of a data-driven approach? In this blog series, we present you quick-to-implement cases that’ll help you use data to your advantage in just a few weeks’ time – that is, if you already have a dataset at hand and you don’t include deployment of any analysis pipelines.

A good data science project starts with a well-defined question that will propel your business forward. In today’s article, we’ll be addressing the following question: “What do website users consider an intuitive website structure?”.




Why perform a card sorting workshop?

You really want that intuitive website structure that is easy to navigate because it reduces the chance of customers giving up when looking for something specific. More so, they’ll more easily find other interesting stuff on the way and be more eager to return. This interesting read highlights the impact of a good user experience with advantages such as massive reduction in support calls and substantial increase in revenue. It further mentions that poor navigation is a major reason for leaving a website.

To find out whether the structure and navigation of your website makes sense, we make use of a technique known as a card sorting workshop, which we implement in 3 phases:

  1. Select content you want people to find: Pick a sample of elements that users should be able to find on your website. This can be a blog post, a specific product, or a more general web page like your contact form.
  2. Let users group the content: Invite users to group the selected content by similarity. 15 participants is recommended. 
  3. Let users name the groups: Each participant should name their groups, either freely (open card sort) or by sticking to predefined names (closed card sort).

The specific setup of the workshop can be adjusted to give participants more or less freedom and to meet your needs.


Bring data to life

Card sorting can be challenging to interpret without the right tools. However, a proper visualization of the results will highlight (dis)agreements among users in terms of which content belongs together and which category names are appropriate. To show you how you can bring the data to life, we’ve visualized some dummy data in the Shiny application below. Feel free to click around and explore the results.


Shiny App Iframe
As you can see in our example, the products category is pretty straightforward, since all participants agree (except for custom solution). On the other hand, there is much more disagreement for blogs, videos, flyers and the like. These are grouped differently as well as named differently by the participants. The heat map conveniently tells us which of the groups are more popular and should be considered to use on the website.


Need a hand?

Want to rethink your website structure, but still a bit hesitant to do this workshop yourself? At The Reference, we have the expertise to organise a card sorting session and provide you with the necessary insights to make your website even more tailored to your customer’s needs.

Request your workshop now

Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to go hands-on with data and go for that first convincing proof-of-concept to convince your co-workers and stakeholders. These initial applications can pave the way to more elaborate data-driven projects that engage more departments and in turn inspire new initiatives.

Looking for some more inspiration? Keep an eye out for our next case study, in which we will dive into purchase history and discover customer segments!


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It's more than digital, it's your business
The Reference is nothing without its customers. Melexis is the stock market-listed global player in the semi-conductor and sensors industry for whom we facilitated future company growth by updating the brand, building the completely new corporate website and giving shape to the use of online channels. Read more about this client.