#1 – Card sorting


Card sorting is basically putting content into different boxes. Usability.gov has a great little write-up on the topic.

Probably the easiest way to do this is to grab a stack of index cards, label each one with the content name and ask users (who use the system) to organize them. You can even ask them to name their “buckets” so you get an idea for the language to use for the navigation system.

#2 – Tree studies

In a tree study, the participant is given a list of tasks and they are asked to find where the answer would be – given only the navigation hierarchy. This takes the colors, layout and other distractions out of the equation so the participant can focus on the words or language used.

You can work through a demo here from optimalworkshop.com.


Be sure you’re organizing in a way which makes sense to your users. Do not organize your site based on your organizational chart. Have your users sort your stuff – then you’ll have a better idea of how they think your stuff should be organized.

For more tips on how to build a better UX be sure to check out the other articles in this series: