I have been spending a lot of time thinking and discussing about Web 2.0 in
last several months. So far I have been thinking about applying concepts of
Web 2.0 into a corporate setting, but somewhere at the back of my mind has
being going on the concept that Web 2.0 fundamentally changes how everything
functions in web space, so why not ux methodologies.
Web 2.0 essentially is democratization of web, that means instead of just a
few on the top doing content generation and rest collaborating, everyone
becomes an author, journalist etc.. Instead of only a few defining how IA
should be, everyone becomes an IA (in some sense) .. and so on.
It brings power in hands of people, as well as the tools. What are people
doing with this power:
1. They upload pics in Flickr
2. Bookmark publicly visible favorites with delicious
3. Tag stuff
All these essentially captures people's "Mental Model" something we have
been trying to do through Card Sorting, User Testing, Ethnography etc etc..
So Web 2.0 fundamentally brings great user insight to us.
I have several Ideas on this, but one main seems to strike greater
confidence. Am calling this *"Tag Sorting" *- (as in a variation of
traditional card sorting)
Currently we do exercises like Card Sorting, Reverse Card Sorting, Goodness
rating etc to understand user's mental model. A Tag Sorting would work as
a) Taking a set of Index cards and asking users to provide tags for each
b) Generate a Tag cloud based on above exercise
c) Organize Tag clouds into 4 levels of popularity
d) Evaluate classification scheme being applied - mental model
e) Finalize Clustering - define navigation
f) Re-label to map to user vocabulary
I think this makes the process more implicit and might bring a more valid
input then explicitly requesting people to label their clusters (as done in
Card sorting). There is a loss of context which could turn this in a wrong
direction, but I think that could be fixed as well.
I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this "Tag Sorting".
I do have the same article up on my blog - http://iprincipia.com/ - so feel
free to leave a comment there if you want to.