Benefits of Tree Testing | Iceberg Web Design

Tree testing is a powerful tool used to help businesses have a better user experience on their website. Whether you are concerned with improving your website’s navigation, increasing user engagement, reducing bounce rates, or improving conversion rates, tree testing may be the solution you need. 

Tree Testing Graphic

What is Tree Testing?

Tree testing is a usability testing method that evaluates the effectiveness of a website or software’s information architecture. It involves testing the navigation structure of a website by presenting users with a text-based representation of the site’s navigation structure (called a tree) and asking them to find specific items or complete specific tasks.

During the testing process, participants are given a task to accomplish and are asked to use the navigation structure to find the information they need. Those participating are typically given a set of options to choose from, which correspond to the nodes in the tree. Participants then follow the path they believe will lead them to the desired information until they reach a dead-end or find the information they are looking for.

For example, say a TV streaming service was curious about how easy their navigation systems are for users. They could task their selected participants to locate where to upgrade their account plan to add more devices (a common user occurrence) and see if any participant has a problem locating it. This TV streaming service will then either make changes to their navigation and retest or simply keep it the same if no problems occur. 

Tree Testing Graphic Example

Tree testing helps identify usability issues with the navigation structure of a website. Whether it’s issues with labeling, organization, and overall ease of use. It is a useful technique for improving the user experience of a website by ensuring that users can find the information they need quickly and easily. 

What Are The Benefits of Tree Testing?

Tree testing is a great opportunity for any online business to get an outside perspective on their user experience. Providing numerous benefits, it can:

Identify Navigation Issues

Tree testing enables researchers to uncover potential navigation issues in a website’s structure early in the design process, allowing designers to make necessary adjustments before development. If someone can’t find something on your website, it’s best to know early.

Clear Insight on User Navigation

By asking users to navigate a website using a simple tree diagram, tree testing provides clear insights into how users understand and interact with the website’s navigation structure. 

Tree Testing is Cost-Effective

Tree testing is relatively inexpensive when comparing to other user research methods, such as usability testing, making it a cost-effective way to validate a website’s navigation experience.

Objective Results

Tree testing provides objective and quantifiable results, allowing researchers to measure and compare the effectiveness of different navigation structures and identify the most effective one.

Quick and Easy

Tree testing can be done quickly and easily, with results available in a matter of days. This makes it a convenient method for testing different navigation structures early in the design process. 

Improve Your Funnels

Tree testing could be a good place to start if you want to determine why something isn’t converting. It can give you great insights into your marketing and sales funnel. If users find the information they need quickly, it could help with any sales, marketing, or retention goals. 

How Do I Run A Tree Test?

  1. Define the purpose and objectives of the tree test: determine the specific goals and questions you want to answer with the tree test.
  1. Develop the tree structure: create the hierarchy of categories that represents the content you want to test. You can try using a spreadsheet, a diagramming tool, or specialized software to create it.
  1. Create test tasks: develop a set of realistic scenarios that require participants to find specific items within the tree structure.
  1. Recruit participants: find participants who match your target user group. You can use online platforms or recruit people in-person.
  1. Conduct the test: provide participants with the test tasks and ask them to think aloud as they navigate the tree structure. 
  1. Analyze the results: evaluate the data collected from the test and identify areas where the tree structure can be improved. Use the results to refine the tree structure and improve your usability. 
  1. Iterate and re-test: make changes to the tree structure and test it again with new participants until you achieve the desired level of usability!

It’s also worth noting that many types of software and tools are available to help you conduct tree testing, such as UXtweak, UserZoom, and Optimal Workshop

Thinking About Tree Testing?

Want to improve your website’s user experience? Tree testing might just be the perfect option for you! This is only one piece of your digital marketing and the overall user experience of your website. 
Want to chat more about tree mapping or user experience with a professional? Contact Iceberg today!

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