Discover how other people organize your content

OptimalSort video

Use card sorting to find out how people think your content should be organised and get the user insights you need to make informed information architecture decisions.

Card sorting is a quick and easy way to design an information architecture, workflow, menu structure or website navigation paths. We've made card sorting even easier with OptimalSort - the online card sorting tool preferred by information architects, web designers and content writers the world over.

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Defining an Information Architecture

Getting started with OptimalSort is really easy. Compared with traditional card sorting methods, using index cards and lots of data entry, you'll save many hours in both preparation and analysis time.

If you have a medium to large website, intranet, online shop or knowledge base then you will benefit from using OptimalSort. Card sorting will help you to understand the product groups or categories that customers would sort items into and thus where they'd expect to find them in your navigation menu structure.

1Input your cards

Your “cards” are the content items from your website or intranet that you'd like to study. We ask people to sort these cards into groups to help you understand your users' mental models.

2Configure your survey

Configure any options and questions to ask before or after the card sort. These questions allow you to segment your results by demographic, psychographic or department, for example.

3Recruit participants

We give you a unique study link that you can email to your users and customers, post on your website, tweet to the world, or use our integrated participant recruitment.

"Card sorting is a great, reliable, inexpensive method for finding patterns in how users would expect to find content or functionality."

Donna Spencer, Maadmob Inc. Profile photo of Donna Spencer

Remote Card Sorting

Get quantitative data quickly and easily with remote, unmoderated user testing and get the numbers to back up your qualitative results.

Create an open card sort where participants create and label their own groups, or a closed card sort where you predefine the groups. Participants will complete your card sort online, by organizing your “cards” into groups that, for them, make sense and belong together.

OptimalSort remote card sort

Moderated Card Sorting

Gather insights into how people feel about what they're doing or saying in the study, great for gathering qualitative results!

Observe and facilitate a moderated card sort with OptimalSort at a computer or on a tablet. Or, you can print out your cards from from OptimalSort's printable cards PDF and let your participants sort the paper cards manually. Afterwards you can use a barcode scanner to quickly enter the data back in OptimalSort to use our advanced analysis tools!

OptimalSort moderated card sort
Read more about remote vs moderated card sorting

Try an OptimalSort card sort for yourself

Open & Closed Card Sort Analysis

The most comprehensive, beautiful and insightful card sort results available anywhere.

Similarity Matrix

Identify obvious clusters and dive into alternate pairings.

You can view the OptimalSort similarity matrix in a web browser or download it as a spreadsheet. The similarity matrix clusters together the strongest card groups along the diagonal edge and features mouse hover effects to assist with readability.


Visualize content groups and the top labels by participants.

On its own, the similarity matrix won't tell you how to design an effective information architecture for your site. Our dendrogram visualizations may give you some clarity and the confidence to make informed decisions.

Participant-Centric Analysis (PCA)

Quickly see the most popular grouping strategies.

Find the top three most acceptable but substantially different submissions by participants in your card sort as tested against the other participant submissions. Use this information to inform your final information architecture.

Downloadable Results

Download your raw data as a CSV for use with most spreadsheet applications, database systems and statistical packages.

Perform advanced open card sort analysis with our analysis spreadsheet, based on the work of Donna Spencer, or export your data for use with __SynCaps__ Cluster Analysis Software.

Results Sharing Options

Once the results are in you can share them with co-workers, clients or friends!

"We couldn't be more thrilled with the results we're seeing!"

Misty McLaughlign, Convio Inc.

View the results as a UX researcher

You will love remote user testing with Optimal Workshop