One Intranets Inc.
home    services    portfolio    intranet ideas    contact us





Idea Archives


July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
July 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
April 2006
May 2006
July 2006
October 2006
November 2006




Previous Posts



Design intranet navigation with card sorting

Wednesday, March 02, 2005  

To design intranet navigation, find out users' mental model of potential content by running card sorting tests. Does an expense report form belong under HR? Finance? or a forms category? You'll only know the right answer after card sorting. Here's how:

  • Make an index card for every piece of content. Limit it to 100 cards.
  • Run 4 or 5 sessions with 3 or 4 users each.
  • Ask them to group the cards in piles of related content. Piles can be as small or large as they want. If they want, they can also group the groups.
  • When they're done, review each group for anomalies. Then ask them to suggest a label for each group.
  • Collate the results to inform your navigation design.

Combine card sorting with your knowledge of business objectives, user goals and usability best practices to design intuitive navigation for your intranet. Make sure to test your final navigation design with a paper prototyping session.


Other resources:

About the Author

I'm Chris McGrath, an intranet consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I've been working on intranets since 1997, and on plain ol' web sites for even longer. I run One Intranets, the firm that co-created ThoughtFarmer -- an enterprise collaboration platform for Windows-based intranets.