card sort

Hierarchical Card Sorting

Hierarchical Card Sorting (HCS) is a participatory card sorting option designed to provide insight into how people categorise and rank different phenomena. It focuses on a process of iterative comparisons between different subjects around a shared theme (decisions, plans, actors, etc), typically written on cards which are in turn sorted in line with the participant’s own value judgments, criteria and standards. Primarily intended for use with single respondents, HCS can be easily adapted to a small group setting, and is used as a central component in the creation of treemaps. The option was developed by Rick Davies and was influenced by the work of Gregory Bateson.