How to set objectives for tree testing

Setting clear objectives for running a tree test before your create your tree and write your tasks will enable you to gather more useful data.

Use the following questions as thinking tools to help you refine your study. Keep in mind that each task you ask participants to complete will give you lots of great data for particular parts of your structure.

  • Do I need to improve the entire website, or is one particular area causing frustration for people?
  • What evidence do you have for this? (e.g., from analytics, support queries, phone calls to customer support, surveys, user interviews, stakeholder feedback, and so on)
  • What information will be easier for people to find after you’ve improved the website

Remember that each task you ask participants to complete will help you learn more about the structure you’re testing.

  • How many people completed the task successfully?
  • Of those who were unsuccessful, what information did they select instead?
  • Did people go straight to an answer, or did they have to move back up the tree?
  • Exactly which path did people take before they selected an answer?

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When to use tree testing