DynamoDB, an AWS offering, is a robust NoSQL database engineered for handling massive datasets with swift access. A key ingredient to leveraging its power lies in skillfully designing the schema. One can draw parallels between the partition keys in DynamoDB to keys in HashMaps, and sort keys to keys in Binary Search Trees (BST).

In DynamoDB, partition keys distribute data among multiple partitions, ensuring a balanced spread for optimum performance. Think of it like HashMap keys, where a high number of unique keys (high cardinality) is essential for even data distribution, resulting in quicker searches and insertions.

On the other hand, sort keys, akin to BST keys, arrange data within a partition. This makes range queries efficient and enables data retrieval in a specific order. In the same way that BST nodes maintain order by having left child key less than the parent and right child key greater, selecting a pertinent sort key, such as date for orders in e-commerce, can help fetch data in the desired order efficiently.

Hence, effective DynamoDB utilization relies on careful selection of high-cardinality partition keys and thoughtful sort keys, paving the way for efficient schema design and optimal application performance.