Donna Spencer

Donna Spencer is a freelance information architect and interaction designer, a mentor, writer and trainer. She has 8 years experience working in-house and as a consultant doing both strategic and tactical design. She has designed large intranets & websites, e-commerce & search systems, complex business applications, a set of design patterns and a content management system. She believes deeply in the value of user-centred design and uses a range of user-centred approaches on her projects – from quick analysis of existing research to deep ethnography. She also believes deeply in team-based and iterative design – continually surprising her colleagues by talking to people rather than computers and designing the old-fashioned way with pencil, sticky notes and much coloured paper. Donna is an experienced speaker who has taught full-day workshops and presented sessions at many local and international conferences, on the topics of information architecture, interaction design and whatever else crosses her mind. She spends her remaining spare time weaving, gardening and writing a book on card sorting to be published soon by Rosenfeld Media.

Stories by Donna Spencer

Card sorting is a simple user-centered technique for obtaining insight into the structure of a site. But is it really so simple? This definitive guide to card sorting includes detailed instructions on how to execute and analyze a sort, plus helpful hints to improve your sorts. It is the first in a series of articles about card sorting.

We hear and talk a lot about card sorting in various forms, and how it can be used as input on a hierarchy or classification system (or a taxonomy, if you like more technical words). We hear that we should test our hierarchies, but we don’t talk about how.