How Do Your Members and Prospects Interact with Your Association?
Your association’s website is probably the first place members, customers and prospects look to learn about your mission, membership, activities and offerings. That means it must be easy to navigate and accurately reflect your association. But where do you learn how to best organize web content so it is intuitive and easy for visitors to find? Do you know why visitors come to your website? What information are they seeking and how are they looking for it? McKinley’s innovative research methods are helping associations enhance the website user and member experience.
What is Card Sorting and how can it help my Association?
The “card sorting” methodology is a simple technique where an individual or a group is guided through a process of identifying and arranging specific content or concepts to represent how they perceive and organize them. Using the card-sort technique, research participants are presented with a packet of index “cards,” or in the case of a survey, a list of content themes. Each card contains the name of a specific website content resource (e.g., About Us, Membership, Publications, etc). Participants are asked to group similar content together into groups. Through our process you can see how participants think about your content, how they relate one area with another. Participants can also be asked to come up with names or titles so content is appropriately labeled. These names can later be used in organization and navigation menus. After completion of the exercise, McKinley analyzes the data and develops a dashboard to show how much agreement there is among research participants about how content should be organized and how closely the content areas are linked. McKinley has found this technique to be very helpful when clients want to understand how individuals prioritize concepts and information.
The following is a sample chart illustrating the results of a card sort. The similarity matrix shows the percentage of participants who agree with each card pairing. In essence, this matrix shows which cards were most often grouped together.