How to write card labels that lead to useful data

In this article, you'll find advice about selecting cards that will help you to get useful insights from your participants. We suggest you:

  • be consistent with capital and lower case letters on labels
  • avoid obvious patterns on the card labels
  • use representative cards in a category, rather than an exhaustive list
  • exclude well-known or unhelpful labels
  • include enough cards of a given type for groups to be formed
  • make the labels meaningful for participants.

Be consistent in the casing of the card labels

If participants see a couple of card labels that start with capital letters and the rest don't, they might presume these cards should be at a higher level. Cards should not suggest any pre-existing structure or classification.

For example, change “Company Structure and Organisational Values” to “Company structure and organisational values”. 

Avoid obvious patterns on the card labels

 If participants see several cards that start with the same word then they consistently group the cards together without paying much attention to the meaning of the cards. So remove these types of clues. 

For example, use the terms 'Wellington – where to buy a phone' and 'Where to buy a phone in Nelson/Marlborough' instead of starting both cards with “Where to buy a phone in...”

Use representative cards in a category, rather than an exhaustive list

You don't need to have every page in a category represented as a card. What you want are cards that are representative of a type of information. 

For example, including all the items under an 'HR' category would add extra load for the participants without gaining much additional information.

Exclude well known cards

There is usually little value in including cards that are linked on most pages of a website. 

For example, 'Site Map', 'Glossary', and 'Contact us'

Include enough cards of a given type for groups to be formed

Your cards need to have enough similarity for natural groups to be formed. If the content chosen is too varied or there are too few cards, participants will not be able to create natural groupings.

For example, two or more job cards, two media releases cards, two case study cards, etc.

The terms should be meaningful to the participants

Labels need to be short enough so that participants can quickly read the card, yet detailed enough that participants can understand what the content is.

For example, change 'Wild ideas' to 'Wild ideas competition' so that participants know what kind of category to create.