IDEA10 Lesson: Beer Tasting is Card Sorting

IDEA10 kicked off the only way a conference should: dinner and drinks. Starting officially Thursday night, I went with 8 of the early arrivers to Triumph Brewery on Wednesday. There, I ordered the flight of beer (8-3 oz glasses of different beers on tap). I immediately started reorganizing the beers from order of light to dark, taking small sips of the ones I was unfamiliar with. I had it in my mind to start with the lightest beer, end with the darkest and to make sure I enjoyed the last beer (even if I had to put a lighter beer in that position). This was going good and well until @russu criticized my order. He would have started heavy, ended light. To that we each explained our reasons (dark for dessert was mine, end on a lighter easier beer was his). But I now realize, beer tasting is card sorting.

There is no right or wrong. No predetermined method. It is based on your decisions, preferences, and past experiences. Mine saw light beers as an appetizer and dark for later in the course. Russ had a different approach. drinkability. In certain situations both are right and both are appropriate. This is why, even though I usually expect a card aligned to the beers, this was a treat. I had the opportunity to create my own order and my own experience. So beer tasting is like card sorting. Much the same as organizing the spice drawer or sharpies on your desk is card sorting. It’s everywhere and it’s interesting to see how design practice is actually human behavior in many regards.
Image credit: strottrot

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