Category Analysis Tool | Download | Installation | Operation | Results


The Web Category Analysis Tool (WebCAT) allows a web designer/usability engineer to test a proposed or existing categorization scheme of a website to determine how well the categories and items are understood by users.

Functions and Features

WebCAT is a variation on traditional card sorting techniques. Its process of categorizing and analyzing information is interactive. First, the usability engineer uses the WebCat setup interface to specify the design of an experiment; she provides the names of the items, a category method, instructions for the subjects, a description of the study, and a variety of other options. WebCAT then creates the exercise for the user which is implemented as a Java applet that provides a satisfying interactive experience. The subject merely drags items from a list to one of several category bins. Items may be moved back and forth between bins until the subject is satisfied with his results, then enters his name, makes an optional comment, and presses 'Done'.

The usability engineer can view the collected data at any time using a new interface which implements a clustering algorithm. This method of presentation has been inspired by IBM EZ Sort. In addition to the interactive tree, the results provide a link to the raw data, and tables of comments and subject-by-category results.


WebCAT is a tool in the Web Metrics Testbed developed at NIST. For more information, see Direct all comments and questions to Before using this tool, please review the WebCAT release notes and known bugs and the FAQ.

See NIST Web Metrics disclaimer.

Overview | Installation | Operation | Results | FAQ
Version 2.5
Page last modified: 15 May 2002
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)