SURL will help you analyze your user’s online needs, expectations of services, terminology, and experiences using a variety of methodologies. These include focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, card sorting, and online surveys. SURL uses a variety of software and tools (e.g., SPSS, Qualtrics, WebSort) to develop customized online surveys to solicit user demographics and input. This information can be used to develop user profiles, personas, as well as tasks for user testing.
Card sorting is a useful activity for defining a website structure because it explores how users visualize and cluster information and helps to generate an overall structure for site content as well as implications for navigation, menus, and possible taxonomies. In an open card sort, participants are presented informational items on index cards in a random order and asked to group them into piles that make sense to them. They are then asked to name the piles they create and subdivide any large piles into smaller subgroups. This exercise can be done using a computer-based program or using physical cards. The benefit of a web-based program is that feedback from a wide range of users in remote locations can be obtained. In a closed card sort, participants place items into predefined categories. This is one way to validate the results of an open card sort.
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