Last week at we ran online tree tests for Falls Church home remodeler Winn Design to validate information architecture.  We’d previously used in-person and online open card sorts to create a new information architecture — using Optimal Workshop’s OptimalSort for the online part.  Here we used one of Optimal Workshop’s other tools: Treejack.  Tree testing is a fairly new usability technique and we found it to be very powerful at testing the site’s proposed organization and navigation terminology.  We could identify areas of confusion and quickly create a new test with a tweaked label or part of the structure — and see if that fixes the problem.  As with online card sorting the only challenge we faced was quickly and cheaply recruiting representative testers.  Below is an example of how people navigated for one of our tasks.

Online Tree Test