A free comprehensive guide for evaluating site structures

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When we speak of “level 1” navigation, we mean the main sections (usually the top-level tabs) of a website. On a typical company site, this might be headings like Products, Support, About Us, and so on.

What about “level 0”? What do we call the root of the tree?

By default, most tree-testing tools name this root node either Home or Top or the name of the organization. In most cases, this should be clear enough to participants.

Watch, though, for confusions between the root label and the site headings.

For example, suppose we’re working on a phone-company site that sells services to both residential and business customers. When we put our site structure into the testing tool, it comes out as:

  • Home
    • For home
    • For business
    • Support
    • etc.

Participants are likely to confuse the root node Home with the For home section, especially when they’re backing up the tree during a task. In this case, renaming the root node to Top solves the problem.

Another solution is to be more explicit with the root name. In the example above, we could also rename the root to Acme home page.


Next: Transferring the tree to a testing app

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