The buzz about Facebook’s storefronts, known as f-commerce, has been hot over the last few years. Recently, the temperature toward storefronts on Facebook has turned decidedly cooler, with retail giants like JCPenney, Nordstrom, The Gap and GameStop all closing their Facebook shops. Does this signal the end of social e-commerce? Absolutely not.
First, we must analyze why f-commerce did not pan out as expected. With too many unauthorized wall posts, unwanted messages and sudden terms of service changes, users are increasingly wary of trusting Facebook. Couple that distrust with the fact that it is a “sharing” site, and consumers are resistant to entering their credit card information on Facebook.
From a usability standpoint, viewing scads of products in a confined viewing area crammed between Facebook navigation and Facebook ads is not a particularly pleasant experience. Additionally, the browser back button returns the user to the previous Facebook page, not the previous shopping page. Companies can spend millions to create an online storefront, so why wouldn’t customers prefer to shop within the much more robust experience of a true e-commerce site?
Despite these challenges, there are terrific avenues for the savvy brand to leverage Facebook for e-commerce. And since one out of every seven minutes spent online is spent on Facebook (think about that!), it is only smart for brands to meet their customers where they spend the most time.
Developing a full Facebook storefront is probably not the most effective allocation of marketing dollars for most brands at this point. Using Facebook to leverage and enhance existing assets is the smart play.
Because consumers connect with and publicly declare that they “like” a particular brand or product, your company can benefit from powerful affinity marketing on Facebook. Allow users to comment on specific products, and friends of that user can see the product in their newsfeed, both exposing them to the product and letting them know what their friend thinks of it. Most consumers are more inclined to trust the uncensored reviews of friends or other consumers. Positive reviews can tip the scale in favor of purchase. Conversely, if the product is unfavorably reviewed, it can destroy sales.
To counter the crowded Facebook space, consider a limited product offering, like Starbucks. The only f-commerce they offer is the gift card. Starbucks is in a strong position for selling via Facebook since their customers tend to be passionately loyal and frequently online socially. Users may purchase a gift card and then send it to their friend, all within Facebook. Purchases under $25 may encourage users to sample Facebook f-commerce and directly share a gift with tangible physical value.
Traditional E-Commerce Support
Perhaps f-commerce in its literal sense is not right for your brand. Use your social network to support and spread your brand’s traditional e-commerce site. For instance, Scottevest Travel Clothing promotes current sales on their Facebook profile picture and offers a “Daily Sale!” section on their Facebook page so fans can easily find their specials and link directly to their e-commerce site. Scottevest responds quickly to consumer feedback on their Facebook page and Twitter feed (Twitter responses are directly from the CEO) and takes care of any issues that arise, building a loyal customer base that feels the brand truly cares for them.
The Home Depot has taken f-commerce in a more natural direction. Seasonal Facebook apps encourage different projects and, at the end of the how-to, offer a list of products that support the project. This very simplified product offering is far more palatable in Facebook’s limited space than a full product line. If a user chooses to purchase via a “buy now” button on Facebook, they are redirected to The Home Depot site and the product is placed in their shopping cart. Users can then take advantage of the robust offerings of The Home Depot e-commerce site, including product previews, multiple product views, specifications, extensive filtering and search, coordinating items and more. Instead of attempting to duplicate this cart on Facebook, The Home Depot may allocate those dollars to brand engagement and relationship building with their consumers.
Exclusivity and Limited Product Sales
Exclusivity is a powerful purchasing motivation, and Facebook can provide the perfect channel. Take Oscar de la Renta: the brand offers a monthly Facebook-exclusive product as the only item available to purchase through their Facebook store. Users may still click through to the main Oscar de la Renta e-commerce site to purchase other products, but this one product is only available to their Facebook fans. Or consider Gilt, which offers an hour-early preview of its sales. Not only do the fans feel as if they are insiders, they are reminded of the Gilt sale when they check their newsfeed.
Facebook is a viable nontraditional sales channel, but brands must treat their Facebook fans differently than they do their website visitors. Facebook is considered personal space by its users, and brands can build affinity with their products as long as they remain respectful of that space. Brands should use caution so as not to become the ugly relative who is always asking for money or pushing products they don’t want. Any f-commerce engagement must therefore tread gently to help brands build a trusted relationship with their consumers.
Six Degrees of Separation: Olympic Style
Samsung, a global Olympic sponsor for the 2012 Games in London, is launching a social media campaign across multiple platforms designed to enable Facebook users to create a “family tree” to see how they are connected to athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team. Through Facebook Connect, users will be able to see how they are connected to the Olympic movement – maybe they’re from the same hometown or attended the same school as their favorite athletes.
How H&M Made Its Google+ Page No. 1
Is your brand taking the leap into the world of Google+? H&M has risen to the top with a very visual page that offers exclusivity to its followers. Google+ users can click through to purchase the items posted on the page, creating an exclusive version of a catalog.
Mobile Innovation No Longer a Physical Battle
Among the devices being celebrated at the Mobile World Congress this week, few will deviate from the form factor of a large, wide touchscreen with rear- and front-facing cameras. Smaller differences in physical buttons and processor speed are now the battleground for devices that will largely be indistinguishable beyond which operating system they run, leading many to wonder, is the mobile revolution over or is the time ripe for the next disruption?
With so many competing interests fighting for real estate on key pages of corporate websites, it can often be challenging to set forth guiding principles that web teams can agree to when attempting to drive home a unified branding message. Creating persuasive elements and prioritizing visual information are key tasks these teams are constantly refining. One of the tools that can be used to maintain the integrity of your message is to be mindful of the elements within this article – contrast, guiding, fluency, magnetism and proximity.
Kinect-Powered Digital Billboards
BBDO has created digital billboards that use the motion recognition technology of Kinect to control the behavior of the ad. They use the interactive capability to make a point about what they’re advertising, autism. As a person looks at the ad and moves their head, the girl pictured moves to avoid eye contact.
Pinterest Primer for Brands
With its 11 million devoted members, Pinterest is the latest blockbuster social platform that brands are starting to notice. Read Write Web has put together a nice overview for how brands should be approaching the new social network and some examples of other brands that have had success.
The concept of personalized search – that each person’s search results will be optimized for their particular preferences and past behavior – has far-reaching consequences for how we use the Web. Because search is the fundamental navigation of the Web, personalized search can have implications for virtually every interaction in the digital space. While personalized search has been present since 2005 from Google and others, Google Search Plus Your World is the most dramatic alteration of organic search results to date. Google’s January announcement of Search Plus Your World is a prime example of social media’s continued infiltration of the underlying structure of the Web – building networks based on relationships and people instead of destinations.
What Has Changed
Google explains Search Plus Your World as an effort that is “transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content but also people and relationships.” For users of Google products, search results may now highlight items that have been shared through their network of Google contacts, as well as content deemed relevant by Google.
There are three principal changes to the results delivered through the universal search, elevating:
- People and brands
- Relevant status updates
- Shared links
People and Brands
Searching for individuals or brands through universal search will now promote a profile or page within the results page, prioritized above organic content in many cases. For businesses with a presence on Google+, this represents a great opportunity for increased visibility by positioning the brand’s profile as the category expert for a given topic.
When searching for a general topic, such as music or hockey, results will now also include recommended accounts for a user to follow on Google+. For example, a search for “Facebook” will show the link to take a user to Facebook.com, just as it would without personalized search, but it will
now also include any Google+ posts that friends have made about the competing network, as well as a box suggesting that the user put Mark Zuckerberg into their circles.
Relevant Status Updates
The second update to personalized search is the emphasis placed on status updates that have been shared with a user’s network. By highlighting commentary and links within search results, Google is “remembering” opinions from people you know and trust, giving the search results greater context. This will have substantial consequences for using digital as a word-of-mouth tool.
The third change to the search algorithm will place more emphasis on links and content that the user’s network has shared concerning the search terms. Included in this are links shared as a post to your circles, and items that have been +1’d.
Results that have been prioritized by Search Plus Your World will be clearly marked with an icon and will note which contact has shared the relevant content.
What Does This Mean for SEM, SEO?
First and foremost, this update emphasizes the idea that over time, search results will be different for each and every user. Accepting this reality, brands will need to place additional emphasis on paid search campaigns to defend critical brand keywords. Paid search campaigns traditionally have been used to offset volatility in organic search results, ensuring that your brand can remain relevant for strategic search terms. While this method will require budgetary support, it is the most reliable approach to ensuring visibility.
Search engine optimization will also require a change in approach. The fundamentals of this practice will not change, but the amplification of personalized search has altered the approach to these activities to be based on personal relationships. For example, optimization efforts will still rely heavily on third-party linking campaigns. With Search Plus Your World, link-building campaigns will refocus around building links, +1’s, or shares from people within your target’s networks.
The final adjustment that search optimization will need to account for is the ability for content creators to bypass traditional search results by pursuing your target’s online network. By leveraging the priority that is being placed on the network effect, brands generating timely niche content will be able to circumvent legacy search results.
Rather than only leveraging this change to optimize for search campaigns, Google+ integration into universal search will enable marketers to bypass rankings through a word-of-mouth recommendation. The following represent three ways your brand can use personalized search to generate increased relevance.
Incorporate Google Action Buttons on Website
The inclusion of +1 recommendations in personalized search stresses the importance of including this button in prominent areas on your website and other digital media. Making this form of user feedback as seamless as possible will earn your content improved rankings in personalized search without requiring users to create a full post about your page.
Curate Brand-Relevant Links
Another major opportunity for brands is to become a curator of content around a specific topic, controlling the search real estate among Google+ users. For example, a search for spring fashion styles will surface content from H&M, a brand with a Google+ page, shared by your fashion-conscious classmate above the results for fashion blogs and magazines.
Maintain a Google+ Page
Given the resources necessary to maintain a robust and consistent social presence on Google+ in addition to existing social media efforts, it is possible that pursuing a content marketing approach will be most efficient for capitalizing on personalized search. Determining whether this tactic is appropriate requires a deeper examination of your brand’s social media strategy and the resources available to grow a Google+ user base.
This update currently affects only registered Google users, and only when they’re signed in to the service. On January 19, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Google+ had more than 90 million users, but the population of users with active Google accounts was substantially higher, with over 350 million users having a Gmail account. Further, we can expect the number of Google+ accounts to grow, as new Google or Gmail accounts now require the creation of a Google+ profile. While this update is alternately referred to as social search, no data from Twitter or Facebook will be indexed; only +1’s and content shared through Google+ will be included.
Five Paradoxes Shaping the Future of Mobile Commerce
As mobile usage and data consumption continue to grow, the buzz flies about mobile Internet usage overtaking desktop Internet usage. But what does that mean for mobile commerce? One study found that order values on tablets and mobile devices tend to be higher than orders on desktops, as are clickthrough rates. And that shopping seems to be happening at night – peaking at 9 p.m., as opposed to the assumed on-the-go nature of mobile shopping.
Apple has released the developer preview of its next operating system, Mountain Lion, and with it launches a beta version of OS X Messages. Messages extends the updated SMS application from iOS to the desktop, receiving texts on iPhones, iPads and now Mac. Messages further integrates FaceTime and file transfer as well as instant message platforms from AOL, Jabber and Gchat to create a universal messaging platform for Apple users.
Facebook is planning to move forward with introducing a version of Timeline for brands, presenting them with a fresh, new opportunity to communicate their stories to consumers. The social network will partner with select brands to beta test the new feature. The experience is slated to be “consistent” with the Timeline look-and-feel, but not a carbon copy, according to David Fisher, Facebook vice president of marketing and business partnerships.
KLM’s Meet & Seat Allows You to Choose Your Seatmate
If your biggest concern when flying the friendly skies is whom you’re going to have to sit next to on that tiny, cramped plane, KLM has a solution for you. KLM’s Meet & Seat allows travelers to log in, check their current seat assignment, then connect to either Facebook or LinkedIn to see who else is seated around them as well as change their assignment. This optional service is currently available on four KLM flights from 48 hours to 90 days before departure.
How Higher Education Is Going Digital
Technology is making a big impact on colleges and universities, from the textbooks students use to the classrooms (or lack thereof) in which they learn. Check out this infographic for a quick summary of the digital state of things in higher education.
Why Pinterest Is So Dang Amazing
At face value, visual bookmarking sites are a dime a dozen, but the devil is in the details! Pinterest shines where others failed, particularly with its ease of use in both browsing and sharing. The learning curve is as close to zero as an interface can get, and the fact that it focuses on a simple set of tasks means visual controls can take up a minimum of screen space. Pinterest is the Karate Kid of visual bookmarking sites – this Grasshopper knows how to focus.
Adaptive Marketing Makes Use of Big Data
Consumer customization has, to some extent, long been possible in many categories as a hallmark of truly superior quality and service. Now, digital marketing is taking that concept to a new level by allowing consumers to customize mass-market products and services – from Kleenex and M&M’s to choosing your seatmates on flights. Adaptive marketing enables brands to not only create personalized messages, but experiences that create a more personal connection.
Youth Are Watching, But Less Often on TV
A new report from Nielsen shows that 12-34 year olds are watching less TV on sets, while 35 and up are watching more. But not watching on the actual TV doesn’t mean they don’t want the content. The younger demographic is finding ways to watch their favorite shows in multiple places: video game consoles, online and mobile phones in particular. Given the changing landscape, content providers are trying to figure out how to best measure audiences across platforms.
Seven Examples of Brands that Pop on Pinterest
Pinterest was recently reported to be the fastest-growing site…ever. With it gaining so much ground in social media, brands are looking for ways to use the platform to connect socially. Brands such as Whole Foods, Bergdorf Goodman, General Electric, Lands’ End, Mashable and Etsy are blazing the trail. Here are seven examples of successful brands on Pinterest.
Attention Facebook page admins (or people who have Facebook admins as clients): Hopefully, you are already aware that Facebook is deprecating more than 50 metrics from its old API, and along with it, removing any data prior to July 19, 2011. As a result, if you have a page, application or domain that uses the Facebook Graph API, you should download any and all data from the old Insights before Wednesday of this week (tomorrow). This will assure that you have access to historical reporting in the event you need any to track progress on your Facebook stuff.
There’s an App for That
Have you ever been walking down the street and suddenly realize that you have an immediate need to send a text message…but you just can’t spare the time to stop and type it? ”Type n Walk” is an app that will allow the user to keep walking, type their message AND not walk into a tree! Using the camera on the phone, Type n Walk displays a transparent image of what’s in front of the user as they type, making it easy to tweet, update Facebook status, text or email without ever having to slow down.
Our relationship to books and the information they contain is ever-changing, but it has accelerated in the past few years. We are seeing eBook readers become more mainstream, the rise of the digital textbook and more social networking devoted to reading.
eBook Readers Become More Mainstream
In May, Amazon announced that they now sell more books for the Kindle than print books. For Christmas 2011, both Barnes & Noble and Amazon debuted eBook readers with entry price points under $100. This marks a new era in the affordability of eBook readers for the masses and has led to more widespread adoption. Leading up to Christmas, Amazon purportedly sold over a million Kindles a week and some projections are saying the Kindle will make up over 10% of Amazon’s revenue stream in 2012.
With the increasing adoption of eBook readers that allow people to immediately purchase and read books without ever leaving the comfort of their couch, we’re seeing a corresponding decline in bookstores. This is yet another area where the digital marketplace appears to be cannibalizing typical sales channels.
In an attempt to revolutionize yet another industry, last week Apple announced a new textbook app for the iPad, as well as a free program for anyone to create and publish textbooks. If this catches on in schools, it could revolutionize the way that students learn, but also revolutionize the way students relate to information.
Apple’s aim is to change the way students relate to their learning materials – making them more engaging and more up to date. This also marks a new accessibility to publishing – if professors or school districts can choose and easily publish their own materials, they will be less beholden to the large publishers catering to the larger states.
Who belongs to book clubs anymore? With online options like Goodreads and Shelfari, you and your friends can have a constant dialogue about which books you’re reading, what you think of them and which you recommend to each other. Social sites devoted to reading have continued to grow, albeit with a more niche audience. In September 2011, Goodreads surpassed six million members and over two hundred million catalogued books.
Goodreads has even introduced a new algorithm to suggest books based on the different shelves each user has. With the advent of online recommendation tools like these, the traditional bookstore is becoming obsolete – computers are largely taking over recommendations and even the delivery mechanisms.
So where does the digitization of reading take us? Overall statistics are suggesting that more people are reading more books than ever before, and that’s a good thing no matter what device (or lack thereof) is being used to read.
Traditionally, the Super Bowl is the biggest night for TV advertising, but Sunday night’s Super Bowl was a big night for digital, too. Trends from the 2011 Super Bowl were back, with advertisers releasing ads online prior to the Super Bowl in hopes of increasing viral spread and integrating mobile ads with the TV campaigns. In fact, this year over half of advertisers released ads online before the game, looking to draw on Volkswagen’s success last year. And mobile upped the ante from last year’s Anheuser-Busch iAd with a QR code in Go Daddy’s spot, linking to discounts off Go Daddy products. But this year, the digital showing went even further.
Shazam announced just before the big night that the entire Super Bowl, the halftime show and many of the ads would be Shazamable. Viewers could Shazam the Toyota spot for the chance to win two Camrys, download an MP3 from Bud Light, watch a music video from Pepsi, vote for their favorite ads, access music content during the halftime show and check out stats about the plays and players during the game. While QR codes connect print to the digital world, Shazam is blazing the trail for connecting TV and audio to digital content. Shazam has not released exact participation stats, but has noted that with “millions” of viewers participating in the Super Bowl integration, 2012 will be “the year of the Shazamable TV ad.”
Chevy invited fans to “experience Super Bowl Sunday in a whole new way” with the Chevy Game Time mobile app, which allowed viewers to play trivia, take polls and enter to win one of 20 Chevrolets or other prizes.
This year, the Super Bowl was streamable both online and from mobile devices. Verizon cut a deal with the NFL to exclusively stream the Super Bowl on iOS and Android devices with the NFL mobile app, and for the first year the game was streamed on computers. Live streaming is a testament to the changing landscape of TV: the Super Bowl is the biggest moment for TV every year, and yet it’s recognizing the growing trend of streaming TV online. The live stream had 2.1 million unique viewers, making it the most-watched sports game online. While there were limitations (such as a lack of live commercials), online streaming allowed for embedded live streams from Facebook and Twitter, further enhancing the experience with social engagement.
And speaking of social, perhaps the biggest story of the night was in social media. Viewers are no longer relying solely on their witty Super Bowl party friends for commentary, but are turning to the second screen for live running commentary about the ads, halftime show and plays. At the end of the game, Twitter saw 12,233 tweets per second, setting a record for the highest tweet frequency during a live sports event.
Brands were prepared for viewers’ connection with Twitter, and hashtags got their fair share of airtime in the TV spots. Audi’s #SoLongVampires, Bud Light’s #MakeItPlatinum and Jack in the Box’s #MarryBacon hashtags all looked to increase engagement on Twitter. Coca-Cola’s polar bears even used the hashtag #GameDayPolarBears to comment on the game from Twitter and point users to more polar bear content on YouTube. In most cases, including hashtags in the spots seemed to work, as #MakeItPlatinum and #SoLongVampires became trending topics in mere minutes.
Coca-Cola saw success on social media even before kickoff with its Facebook event app, which asked fans to RSVP to watch the Polar Bowl – a live stream of the Coca-Cola polar bears’ reactions to the game. Before kickoff, 32,000 people had RSVPed, and the live stream received so many views that the Coke team had to add six servers to accommodate the traffic. Its Twitter feed received a whopping 12.5% increase in followers before the game even started.
The Super Bowl’s social media integration went beyond Twitter and Facebook into the location-based arena with Pizza Hut and Amex’s Foursquare offer. By checking into “Super Swarm Sunday,” Amex members got $5 off any food ordered from Pizza Hut.
The 2012 Super Bowl is leading the way for digital to further enhance the TV entertainment experience and enhance engagement with advertisers. TV spots are no longer simply 30–60 seconds of impression time; they can be the beginning of an engaging experience with a brand that lasts far beyond those few, short seconds. Instead of looking at TV advertising in a silo, it can be used in conjunction with digital to begin an engaging customer journey.
Super Bowl XLVI isn’t only America’s number one TV event of the year; it also now claims two of the top three spots on Twitter’s most-tweets-per-second list. Twitter reaction reached 12,233 tweets per second (TPS) at the end of the Giants vs. Patriots game and 10,245 TPS during Madonna’s half-time performance Sunday night, trailing only the release of the Japanese movie “Castle in the Sky.”
M. Les Boswell
Online exploration no longer means sitting in front of a glowing monitor while we parse out Google search results. Smart devices are emerging as knowledge compasses that serve to enhance reality. With smarter applications, our devices are getting better at contextualizing information to boost real-world exploration.
Millennials Look to Digital Word of Mouth to Drive Purchase Process
Millennials are much more likely than their older counterparts to rely on anonymous recommendations and reviews when making purchase decisions. Where 66% of Boomers reported turning to friends, family or colleagues for purchase advice, Millennials were split 50-50 for turning to friends versus trusting digital user-generated content. They’re also more likely to share their own purchasing experiences – both positive and negative – with the masses.
Mobile Brings Transparency to Prescription Pricing
As healthcare costs, like almost everything else, continue to increase, customers are looking for the best value when it comes to purchasing their prescription drugs. Spurred by the discovery that pharmacies negotiate prices independently, Brad Bangerter decided to launch LowestMed, a mobile and web app that can help users to find the best price on medications in their area. By entering the medication you need, LowestMed searches your local pharmacies and lets you compare prices, holding healthcare more accountable for its pricing.
Facebook Users More Likely to Receive Than Give
Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that users are far more likely to receive likes, tags and friend requests than to give them out. This norm is the result of the 20%-30% of power users driving interactions on the platform. But, according to Prof. Keith Hampton, the author of the report, ”the striking thing is that there are different power users depending on the activity in question. One group of power users dominates friending activity. Another dominates ‘liking’ activity. And yet another dominates photo tagging.”
Free Digital Lockers Have Wide Appeal
A recent PwC study indicates that a large majority of consumers (90%) are open to the idea of storing digital media online. Among the age-group segments of the study, the oldest (ages 50-59) expressed the strongest interest compared to the youngest (ages 18-24 and 25-34). Among most respondents, 68% expressed their adoption of cloud-based storage services would be affected if it were not viewed as “free.” Other top factors driving adoption include the provisions of unlimited storage and access from anywhere at any time.
Have you ever been on a site where cryptic labels or jargon were used for the navigation options? Or have you ever resorted to entering a Google search instead of exploring a site because the content was scattered and not organized in a way that you found intuitive? It’s highly possible that these sites were designed with little consideration for the user and user input was not collected during the life cycle of the project. Spending time with users or performing user research was probably viewed as overhead or a “nice to have” rather than incorporated into the overall project budget. Often, user research is not viewed as mission-critical and instead is seen as a step standing in the way of getting the project completed on time.
Fortunately, there are ways to include user research without blowing your budget. A simple yet eye-opening approach to gather user input is card sorting. The beauty of the card sort is to see how representative users of your site would naturally organize content from your site.
There are two primary types of card sorts:
- Open card sort. Users are given a sample content list and asked to create groups as they see fit and label the groups they created. This is typically done for a new website project and conducted before the information architecture has been finalized.
- Closed card sort. Users are given a sample content list as well as predefined groups that they will need to use to group the content into. This may be done to validate assumptions made after an open card sort or to refine existing categories (e.g., top navigation options) during a website redesign.
Card sorting is flexible and easy to administer because it can be conducted in person or remotely. And all you need is either a set of index cards or an online card sorting tool. Index cards work well because users easily work with the cards by spreading them out in any manner they choose as they begin to assemble the groups. However, there are some online tools that are effective in emulating the experience you get with index cards:
- Optimal Sort is one of the most popular card sorting tools. It has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. And you can also benefit from some analysis reports that are automatically generated by this tool. Here is a video on how to create an Optimal Sort study: http://vimeo.com/14204460
- iCardSort is an iPad app that was created to replicate the feeling of physical cards.
While online card sorting tools can give you the flexibility to conduct the study without a moderator, it’s beneficial to have a moderator there to gain a deeper understanding of the user’s rationale and interpretation of the content. So as users organize content into what they deem are the logical groupings, they are asked to describe their thought process through a think-aloud protocol. This gives insight into their mental models and answers the following types of questions:
- What do users find easy to organize?
- What do users find difficult to organize?
- How do users describe the content or what do they name groups?
- How do people want information grouped – by subject, process or content type?
- Do they understand the content?
- What content would they organize into more than one group?
- Were there any patterns (e.g., similar content groupings or labels)? Or what were the areas of high disagreement across users?
With answers to the questions above, the team will be better equipped to design an experience that is positioned to meet the needs and expectations of your target users. Integrating user research approaches like card sorting can act as useful checkpoints, but, more importantly, provides the team with valuable insights that will make them better advocates for your customers and help create a positive experience for your brand. This is a technique that is best conducted early in the process – ideally before wireframes are created or before any development begins – when there is less risk to the project at large. With simple card sorting exercises, incorporating user research into the overall project shouldn’t be a daunting overtaking and is actually fairly easy to integrate.
More on Card Sorting
- Interview with card sorting guru: http://www.infodesign.com.au/uxpod/donnaspencer
- Definitive guide: http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/card_sorting_a_definitive_guide