After understanding the business, its objectives, the products etc, sit around and give 10 to 15 cards to each participant. The Card sorting technique is a simple analysis to arrive at the common trends and identify the varied preferences of the users.
Introduce the concept
Introduce the concept of card sorting to everyone. This can be something like “what we are trying to do here is a technique called card sorting that is used to get what are those that you want on the website which is currently inside your head onto paper. So, what I want everyone to do is to write down 10 to 15 ideas on pieces of paper”
Assist the group
Assist them by starting a few items that would be relevant to the site like About us, contact us etc. This will trigger similar reaction from the participants as well. Write down the item names on a piece of paper and keep the aside.
Allow them sometime to do this.
Take things forward
After some time when everyone is done writing down, collect all the cards and make one pile of cards.
Get help from one or two of them and start to lay the cards on the table so participants can read from one direction.
Similarity & logical order
Once the cards have been laid out, start to organise the cards into logical groups. Write down design ideas/criteria like whitespace, slogan, rotating hero image etc. and keep them separately.
Sort the cards by similarity and place them as a line.
Place an empty card right above the pile and not on top of the pile.
Think aloud with everyone how can you call each pile or group of cards which are sorted by similarity and write the name of the group in the empty card. Make sure to use familiar conventional names like Contact us, about us etc so that each name is clear to the user. Questions that start with why, what how may be used group names.
Once this process is done and each group is named, identify if any pile has too many cards. Then group the cards of similar nature inside that pile and bring them down as dropdown menus.
By the end of the process, we will have a primary navigation and a footer.
Also add promo squares on the home page. Banners in this space will take the user inside to respective sections. Here this slot may be used to place cards from drop down section group.
Also consider in consultation with marketing and sales team about the ad slots they need.
Once this whole process is done, ask the participants, if this is the kind of website they had in mind from a feature and information stand point.
Once they are satisfied, collect each group with the name of the group as the first card of the group. Also group the design criteria cards and keep it as a group in the pile and clip them together.
This simple sorting method helps you to prioritise the categories and provides you with the required information to analyse data.
For tones of information and techniques that he practices please view the video from the beginning to end.