Card sorts are an easy way to see if the current architecture of a website is working. They encourage users to volunteer all sorts of information that wouldn’t necessary come out in a standard one-on-one interviewing session. Card sorts can also be used to illustrate to stakeholders how their opinions, terminology, and politics impact site usability.
The full article was published Digital Web Magazine, which no longer exists. So find it here, on this site and an accompanying card sort analysis using a spreadsheet at http://www.ruthstalkerfirth.com/card-sort-analysis-using-a-spreadsheet
Cultural probes are quick and dirty way to get inside the users’ minds in a way that standard user testing doesn’t. Probes can take the form of diaries or blogs and are easy to put together using open-ended questions which encourage users to say all the things they never would during a testing session. With this insight into users thoughts and feelings, usability consultants can identify behavioural patterns and design better products which satisfy user needs (even ones they didn’t know they had). Probes go beyond the ‘know thy user’ rule to read the user’s mind.
Read the full article only on A List Apart.