a card sort on a table

My first act of UX for Richland Library was an attempt to make sense of their main navigation.

Selecting The Cards

I collected the most trafficed sections of the site as well as the biggest sign posts from the existing main menus to come up with a short list of 30 items. That number, 30, happens to be the limit on how many cards can be put into a card sort when using Optimal Workshop on a free account, but it also happens to be the right number for a session that most people feel comfortable with (somewhere between 20 and 40 and no more than 120).

  1. A link to browse through eBooks
  2. Business Careers and Research Center
  3. Career & Job Resources
  4. Fill out a form to request an obituary
  5. Find books to check out
  6. Upcoming events
  7. Sign up for classes
  8. Movies that can be picked up from the library
  9. Work at Richland Library
  10. The department of Local History at Main
  11. Music downloads
  12. Request a purchase
  13. Audiobooks you can check-out online
  14. Send a question to a librarian
  15. Compare information between services that offer e-magazines
  16. Addresses for our library locations
  17. The typical posted hours of operation
  18. Sign up for a library card
  19. Reserve a meeting room
  20. Summer Learning Challenge
  21. Meet the Media Box, a self-service machine for new release movies and games
  22. Volunteering at the library
  23. Donate books to the catalog or items of historical significance for archiving
  24. Sign up to use a desk in the co-working space
  25. Things you can use our teen centers for
  26. How to connect your e-reader to services like Amazon, Hoopla, or Zinio
  27. Ways that you can pay your fines
  28. Construction progress
  29. Get assistance from certified social workers with health insurance, housing, etc.
  30. School summer reading list


The responses converged on 2 major categories and a few minor categories:

GENERAL RESOURCES (i.e. The Catalog) general resources

LIBRARY INFORMATION (i.e. Everything Else) library information

get involved (i.e. volunteering/working at the library) get involvedbusiness and careersevents

There were common associations that disagree with the above categories:

  • 50% Library Locations & construction updates
  • 50% Sign up for a library card & Request an obituary
  • 50% Ask a librarian & Request an obituary
  • 46% Career and Job Resources & Social Worker Assistance
  • 40% Hours of Operation & Construction updates
  • 38% Request a Purchase & Finding Books

similarity disagreements


This card sort would pave the way for a much larger one, but since card sorts start to break down past 30 cards, some creative solutions were necessary.