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If all this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry – it’s not. Most of this is very straightforward, and we’ll be able to fill in most of the answers in a single sitting (or a single kick-off meeting, if we're working with a team).

Whether our tree-testing plan is simple or more complex, we do recommend:

  • Collaborating with the team on it, so everyone’s in the loop (and can be involved as they want to be)

  • Writing it down and sharing it, so that everyone can keep updated as the project moves along (and sometimes changes as it goes). We typically use a project spreadsheet that we fill in as we go, shared in real-time using Google Drive, but the exact tools used matter less than the fact that it’s documented and “lived in” by the team.

  • Reusing it next time, adding or deleted steps as we go, until we get a process that is tailored to our situation.

A planning questionnaire

When you're planning a tree test, you may find it helpful to use this simple questionnaire to fill in the answers to the questions posed throughout this chapter:

A sample project checklist

Over the course of hundreds of tree tests, we've refined our work down to a detailed checklist of everything we do in a tree-testing project.

Note that this is a superset of everything that might apply; we normally start from this template and delete the items that don't apply to a specific project.

Note also that this is a very detailed checklist, with lots of items that may not make sense yet. Not to worry - they will explained in the subsequent chapters of this guide.


Next: Chapter 4 - key points

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