Tree Testing

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Tree testing allows you to understand how users navigate and organize information on a webpage or an app.

As the name suggests, tree testing involves creating a tree structure of your webpage and then asking users to find specific items in it. This method is similar to card sorting but with a critical difference: the website or app you are designing isn't built yet, so you have nothing to show users. Instead, you ask them to imagine the website or app and conduct the test.

What do you need to conduct Tree testing?

1. An outline of your website's or app's structure (i.e., the "tree")

2. A list of tasks for users to accomplish related to a specific feature or area of your site

3. A group of test subjects (between 10-15 is good to start)

4. A room with recording equipment so that you can capture the subjects' responses

5. Someone who can ask the questions and observe participants

For instance, if you run an eCommerce store with pet supplies, products, and food, you can ask your user to find a dog's bed and then observe how much time the user needs to discover it (and if they can find it anyway).

Tree testing allows you to identify information architecture structure, understand how people search for information, recognize problems before launch, and determine where your users are getting stuck when they're using your product.

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