For a conceptual project, I did some research and persona development for Travelzoo. First, I created three personas to show the different types of users that would be using the site. Each individual persona would each use the site differently and with different purposes. This would help plan and create the information architecture.
From there, I created a list of questions to create a card sort. These would include common tasks and functions that users would expect to do in a travel site. I used Optimal Workshop’s Optimal Sort tool to create a card sort test without providing categories initially. I asked several of my friends to be a part of this exercise and initially asked them to create their own groups when sorting the questions.
After seeing the results of the first round, I noticed people came up with either too many group names, or groups that seemed out of place. I took some of the most common group names, and added some more to do a second round of the card sorting exercise. This time, the users were given category names. The results were much better this time, and vast majority agreed with the categorization of the questions.