A free comprehensive guide for evaluating site structures
Let’s take a step back now and look at how we can fit card sorting and tree testing into our overall design process.
The recommended approach
If we have been given a reasonable amount of time to create a site tree, we do the following:
There are several advantages to this “full-fat” approach:
- Card sorting generates ideas for our new tree – ideas that come from actual users, not just the project team.
- Baseline tree testing shows us what needs fixing (and what doesn’t), and gives us a score to measure against later.
- Two rounds of testing for the new trees lets us experiment, refine, and raise our chances of creating an optimal design.
The hurry-up approach
All of us have worked on a project where we were not given that “reasonable” amount of time to do what was needed. Sometimes we have to cut corners.
Because we loath the idea of creating a site tree without some form of validation, we still run tree tests, but we abbreviate the process, using a single round that combines before and after: