What is a tree test?
Tree testing is a way to evaluate the how easy it is to find information on a website or app and shows where participants get lost. Participants are shown a text-only version of the site or app structure so they are not influenced by the visual design of the navigation (see example) and are asked to indicate where they would expect to find specific items or topics.
Why is tree testing helpful?
Tree testing can give you insight into how easy it is to find important items on a website or app. This information can provide guidance when designing or assessing an information structure. It can also help you visualize what paths participants take to get to specific site information.
When should tree testing be conducted?
A tree test is usually conducted:
- prior to the design phase to evaluate a current structure that will be redesigned
- during the early design phase to evaluate a proposed structure
We suggest asking participants to record themselves using the UserTesting platform while they complete a tree test using a third-party tool (we recommend using Treejack, offered by Optimal Workshop). Participants are asked to think out loud as they complete the tree test, so we can observe their behavior and listen to their feedback as they work on the activity.