A free comprehensive guide for evaluating site structures
The experts say that we should do usability testing early and often. Tree testing is no different – indeed, it was created to let us test very early (before we even have a website coded) and very often (because it’s both cheap and easy to run a tree test).
In general, we can start testing as soon as we have a structure to test – either a text dump of our existing site’s IA, or the new IA ideas we’ve been playing with. We’ll also need time to create “find it” tasks that exercise our structure(s), and time for the overhead of setting up the tree tests.
Here’s a typical high-level timeline for 3 rounds of tree testing (testing the existing tree, testing our new trees, then testing our even-better-with-revisions “final” tree):
|(varies)||Earlier IA work|
|1 week||Round 1|
|3 days||Create new trees|
|1 week||Round 2|
|1 week||Round 3|
If we’re just planning 1 or 2 rounds of testing, it should be easy to take this and cut it down to what is needed.
Next: Which tool will we use?