Enhance the user experience of your website by leveraging the power of card sorting. A fundamental UX research technique, card sorting involves presenting participants with a list of items and asking them to categorize and organize them into groups that make sense to them.
By observing how users naturally group and arrange information, you can gain valuable insights into their mental models and preferences. These insights can then be used to inform your website’s information architecture, resulting in a more intuitive and user-friendly design.
In this article, we explore the top digital card sorting tools that you can use to generate essential data on user behavior and content arrangement preferences, which can help you refine your website’s user experience.
If you’re looking for more information about the card sorting method, we’d recommend checking out our detailed card sorting guide.
Please note: All pricing mentioned in this article is displayed in USD.
TL;DR: An overview of the 11 best card sorting tools
• Choose from open and closed card sorting • Simple test setup • Customizable card sorting features, e.g. randomize how cards and categories are displayed, ask follow-up questions, etc. • View quick insights with agreement and similarity matrices • Easy collaboration with team members and stakeholders • Recruit from the participant recruitment panel or via your own network
• Free plan offered • Paid plans start at $89/month
• Choose from open, closed, and hybrid card sorting • PDF reports • Enter or import cards and categories
• Free plan offered • Paid plans start at $144/month
UserZoom (now UserTesting)
• Flexible testing options, with open and closed card sorting • Self-guided training
• Pricing unavailable
• Data visualizations • Concurrent testing • Exportable reports
• Free plan offered • Paid plans start at $208/month
• Choose from open, closed, and hybrid card sorting • Observe and sort participant responses on a granular level • In-depth analysis • Flexible testing
• Free plan offered • Paid plans start at $49/month
• Intuitive card creation • Flexible card sorting options, e.g. randomize how cards are displayed, show a subset of cards • Analysis tools
• Free plan offered • Paid plans start at $75/month
• Choose from closed, open, and hybrid card sorting • Record moderated card sorting sessions • Advanced analytics, including AI recommendations
• Paid plans start at $499/month
• Real-time test monitoring • Specialized cards • Visualize test results
• Free plan offered • Paid plans start at $30/month
• Choose from open, closed, and hybrid card sorting • Built-in screener questions • Shuffle cards to decrease bias
• Free plan offered • Paid plans start at $79/month
• Multiple card sorting formats • Export your results • Set start and end dates for your tests
• Free plan offered
• Visual interface • Flexible card sorting capability
• Free to download
Lyssna is a comprehensive user testing platform that lets you validate your designs with features like prototype testing, five second testing, surveys, preference tests, and more.
Its card sorting feature allows you to choose from open and closed card sorting methods, with easy setup, recruitment, and results analysis. The testing interface is responsive and supports card sorting tasks on both desktop and mobile devices, with a smooth drag and drop UI, and accessible buttons for sorting without drag and drop too.
There’s also support for 30 languages, which means you can test with participants worldwide.
Open and closed card sorting: Choose from both open and closed card sorting tests depending on your requirements. For closed card sorting, you create predefined categories for your participants to sort cards into, and for open cards sorting, you ask participants to sort cards into categories they label themselves.
Simple setup: Create cards by either manually entering the names for each card, copying and pasting a list of names from another document into the test builder to create cards in bulk, or dragging and dropping a group of image files to create image cards in bulk.
Customizable card sorting features: Allow test participants to sort all, or only some, cards; limit the number of cards shown to participants (e.g. ask participants to categorize only 20 out of a total of 50 cards) to avoid participants getting overwhelmed if there are lots of cards to sort; randomize how cards and categories are displayed; and ask your participants follow-up questions.
Quick insights: Lyssna helps you analyze the results with agreement and similarity matrices, questionnaire responses, advanced filtering, and other analytics that help you identify the best ways to structure your information.
Collaborative experience: Download a CSV file, share your results via a link, and comment on the test builder and results pages to ensure your team and stakeholders are all on the same page.
Easy participant recruitment: With Lyssna, you can easily recruit from an integrated research panel and choose from a range of demographics like geography, job role, industry, and other demographic characteristics. You can input your study size, type, and audience on the research panel calculator to get an estimate of the cost and turnaround time. If you already have a dependable group of test participants, then you can also choose the self-recruitment option.
Plans and pricing
Free plan: Provides you access to all card sorting tools, 15 responses per link, and unlimited tests with a maximum of two minutes in length, giving a great starting point. You can also sign up to a 14-day free trial, where you have access to the Pro plan.
Basic: At $89/month, you get bumped up to five minutes in testing length, unlimited responses, and CSV exports, making it easy to share your results.
Pro: For $199/month you have access to everything in the basic plan, plus two additional collaborators, conditional logic, custom branding, and unlimited test lengths.
Enterprise plan: This pricing option is customized to suit your company's needs and includes unlimited collaborators, security audits, and enhanced security integration.
Panel responses are priced separately for all plans.
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UXtweak simplifies the card sorting process with an easy-to-navigate UI and a quick timeline from start to finish.
Open, closed, and hybrid card sorting: Let your test participants create their own categories with open card sorting, provide predefined categories with closed card sorting, or take a hybrid approach.
PDF reports: Gather results and generate a PDF that’s easy to share with teammates and stakeholders.
Enter or import cards and categories: Create cards and categories in the test editor or import a card and category list from a CSV file.
Plans and pricing
Starter plan: UXtweak’s free plan lets you use its card sorting feature with some restrictions, limiting you to running one study at a time with one month’s access to results.
Business: For $144 a month, the Business plan lets you tap into UXtweak’s test participant panel with full access to all of its card sorting tools, and an unlimited number of studies.
Enterprise: This option is tailored to more complex needs. A few key takeaways include unlimited responses and number of user licenses, customer data retention, and access to support from a UX expert.
3. UserZoom (UserTesting)
UserZoom (now part of UserTesting) comes through with a suite of user-friendly card sorting tools that allow you the flexibility to create tests, generate qualitative and quantitative data, and evaluate your results.
Flexible testing options: Give your card sorting participants the opportunity to come up with their own categories through open card sorting or provide them with predefined categories for closed card sorting.
Self-guided training: Access the UserZoom Academy for extra learning and guidance if you’re new to card sorting and UX research.
Plans and pricing
Enterprise plans: Card sorting is only available at the Enterprise level – contact for pricing.
Optimal Workshop has a wide range of UX research and testing resources, including its own card sorting app called OptimalSort. With OptimalSort, you can gain access to robust card sorting tools and diverse methodologies for gathering comprehensive insights into user behavior and information organization.
Data visualizations: With seven different ways to generate graphics, including similarity matrices, dendrograms, and 3D clusters, OptimalSort gives you plenty of options for analyzing your results.
Concurrent testing: OptimalSort lets you test with hundreds of people at the same time. This makes it possible to produce a huge amount of testing data in a short amount of time.
Exportable reports: You have multiple options for exporting your data, such as PDF or CSV files, making it easy to share this information with your team members and stakeholders.
Plans and pricing
Free: Along with three sessions of qualitative research, recruitment of 10 participants, and card sorting with a limit of 20 cards, OptimalSort’s Free plan gives you a solid starting point for performing testing.
Pro: From $208/month, you can add your own branding to studies, as well as unlimited card sorting cards and participant responses.
Team: From $191/month per user, you’ll have everything in the Pro plan plus priority support, team usage reporting, security assessment, and the ability to collaborate on studies.
Enterprise: This plan is for those needing extra security and support. You’ll have access to all features in the Team plan plus SSO, multiple team accounts, legal assessment and much more. As it’s a tailored plan, you’ll need to contact their sales team for pricing.
5. UX Metrics
UX Metrics is a remote card sorting and tree testing platform used to gain qualitative insights. From inviting participants to evaluating agreement scores and frequency rankings, UX Metrics offers a clear and guided experience for those wanting to run card and tree sorting tests.
Flexible testing options: Choose from open, closed, and hybrid card sorting methods.
Focus on individuals: UX Metrics lets you take a granular approach and observe each participant's time spent completing a study, sort the results, and easily exclude or delete when needed.
In-depth analysis: Generate frequency and agreement rankings, making it easy to see user preferences and patterns in how content is grouped.
Flexible testing: Run moderated and unmoderated testing, as well as options for in-person and remote.
Plans and pricing
Free: UX Metrics lets you publish one study with one participant, as well as access their data analysis tools.
Pro: $49/month will get you ten published studies, 1,000 participant results, and advanced functionality in grouping and filtering card sorting results.
Maze offers closed and open sorting methods, a swift card creation process, and robust result analysis tools, all presented through a sleek UI to ensure a seamless user experience.
Intuitive card creation: Whether you want to add cards, include custom images, rearrange the order, or make other modifications, Maze’s drag-and-drop card sorting tools make the process simple.
Card sorting options: Maze lets you do things like randomize how cards are displayed to participants as well as allow for partial sorting, where testers are only tasked with sorting a subset of cards.
Analysis tools: Evaluate your results and spot trends, relationships, and other patterns through similarity and agreement matrices.
Plans and pricing
Free: Aimed at smaller teams, Maze’s starting tier gives you 300 viewable responses per year, one active project, and the option to do closed card sorting.
Professional: For those who need to do testing at a large scale, Maze’s Professional plan gives you 10 active projects, open card sorting, and access to its templates for $75/month.
Organization: If you're looking for a tailored plan, this option is for you. You’ll have access to all of the Professional features plus unlimited responses, dedicated support, custom templates, plus much more.
Offering a range of card creation options, along with advanced reporting and analytics, Userlytics is another feature-rich application equipped with card sorting tools designed to help you improve how you structure content and information.
Card sorting customization: Userlytics lets you upload different cards to evaluate. You can define the categories you want to test for closed card sorting, allow participants to create the categories themselves for open card sorting, or combine both methods with hybrid card sorting. You can also randomize the order in which the different elements (categories and cards) are shown to participants during the study.
Video recordings: Record moderated card sorting sessions.
Advanced analytics: Analyze and share data and insights and leverage AI-based recommendations.
Plans and pricing
Enterprise: A popular plan for organizations conducting one-off testing, this plan ensures you only pay for usage. The Enterprise pricing page includes a calculator with toggle buttons for picking out features of what you’ll use.
DIY: From $499/month, you’ll have access to 2 seats, a maximum session duration of 60 minutes, and 20 AI transcriptions.
Custom: Select your preferred features, including access to card sorting – just note there’s a minimum purchase of 5 participant sessions for this plan. Once your preference is submitted, you can organize a customized demo.
UserBit is a UX tool used to manage user interviews, analyze surveys, create personas, and map user journeys. It also comes with card sorting capability, giving you a centralized platform for running a wide range of user research and testing.
Real-time test monitoring: Watch people sort cards in real time, giving you a glimpse into their decision making process.
Specialized cards: Cards can contain text, images, or a combination of both.
Visualize test results: Heatmaps and similarity and frequency matrices help you visualize your test results, making it easy to identify how participants organize content.
Plans and pricing
Free: UserBit lets you try out their app for free, with two card sorting studies, unlimited team members, two flow diagrams, and two visual sitemaps.
Pro: From $30/month, you get bumped up to five card sort studies, five visual sitemaps, and 5GB of storage.
Pro Unlimited: From $199/month, you’ll receive unlimited features including team members, personas, projects, card sorting studies, flow diagrams, visual sitemaps, custom branding, and 120 hrs of transcriptions each year.
UXArmy is a remote user research platform offering usability testing, research, and participant recruitment. Its card sorting solutions facilitate efficient user research and information organization, enabling easy card creation, customization, and analysis.
Card sorting options: Participants can create categories in an open card sort, sort cards into given categories in a closed card sort, or create categories in addition to pre-built categories using a hybrid card sort.
Built-in screeners: Add a screener or a post-test questionnaire to your card sort to ask additional questions.
Decrease bias: UXArmy decreases the influence of predictable card sequences by shuffling cards for each participant.
Plans and pricing
Free: This introductory tier gets you access to unlimited projects for seven days.
Individual: From $79/month, you get access to UXArmy’s experts, unlimited projects, as well as a pool of testers.
Enterprise: You’ll have to contact the sales team to customize your plan, but a few key features include unlimited projects, unlimited access to the UXArmy panel, 24/7 technical support, and a customized SLA.
KardSort is a free card sorting tool that offers an uncomplicated way to conduct testing. While it might not be the best choice for those new to card sorting, experienced users will find value in KardSort's streamlined approach.
Multiple card sorting formats: Pick from closed, open, or hybrid methods.
Export your results: Export results in different formats, including CSV, SynCaps V3, and Casolysis.
Set start and end dates: Schedule start and end dates for your study.
Plans and pricing
Free: You’re limited to 20 cards and 10 categories, however you can make a donation to upgrade your account, leading to more cards and categories.
Though it’s no longer maintained as an active product, xSort is a free downloadable card sorting tool for macOS that covers a lot of the same functionality that you’ll find in paid counterparts.
Visual interface: Users are presented with a card-like table that's easy to interact with, along with the option for an outline view.
Flexible card sorting capability: Control every aspect of your card sorting exercise, including the method, the order of cards, and more.
Plans and pricing
Free: This is a free card sorting application.
Other software apps that have built-in card sorting tools
It’s worth mentioning that there are apps outside of UX research tools that include card sorting functionality. For example, Miro, Figma, and Trello all have card sorting capabilities and are worth checking out if they’re already part of your workflow.
Enhance your information architecture with Lyssna
With the ability to run both open and closed card sorting, a quick process for obtaining feedback, and powerful tools for conducting data analysis, Lyssna opens up card sorting to everyone.
Without understanding how users naturally group your content, it can be difficult to make sure it's organized just right. With Lyssna's card sorting feature, you'll get a clear picture and make smart choices to improve how you arrange important ideas for easier visitor navigation.
Ready to improve your information architecture with card sorting?
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Jeff Cardello is a freelance writer who loves all things tech and design. Outside of being a word nerd, he enjoys playing bass guitar, riding his bike long distances, and recently started learning about data science and how to code with Python.
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