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Grouping information with affinity diagrams

by Martyn Green on July 6, 2011

One of the purposes of a requirements gathering workshop is to gain a better understanding of the type of information that is important to your intranet audience. Part of this process is discovering how your users group information. This can help you to create an intranet structure that meets your employees’ needs. A simple and cost effective way of collecting information on your user requirements is Affinity Diagrams also referred to as Affinity Analysis.

Affinity Analysis is normally conducted as a group exercise with potential intranet audience. Instead of having prewritten cards as with card sorting, participants are asked to write down their own tasks or issues. They are then asked to categorise their newly created tasks in a way that is logical to them. As the participants are creating the content, it is easier to identify which tasks have the most value for them.

The purpose behind this exercise is to find a common theme in which tasks have the highest importance to your audience and how they should be grouped.

Affinity Analysis is an effective method of finding out how individuals logically group information. When you understand your users’ needs you can create an intranet structure that focuses on their requirements.

Topics: 2. Plan

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