Want to build a fully functional tree test the easy way? Here at UserQ, we’ve got the tools you need to get insightful, digestible data from simple-to-set-up tree tests. You’ll be levelling up your brand’s digital experiences in no time.
But what is a tree test? What are they used for? And why is UserQ the best place for creating high-quality remote tests for the MENA region, like tree tests?
In this how-to guide, we provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to create, run, and analyse a tree test using our platform.
A tree test is a type of user research tool that evaluates the findability of certain topics and pages on your website information architecture (how your website content is organised and labelled). In other words, tree tests show how easy it is for users to navigate your site and find the stuff they need when browsing it.
Tree testing answers questions like:
Tree tests are most commonly used for evaluating websites, however, they’re also super effective for apps. By analysing the data collected from a tree test, you can identify certain pain points of your website/app and improve its information architecture – according to what users found easy and difficult.
Tree tests are also an effective way of obtaining results specific to certain demographics. Based on the tester panel that you create, our tree test platform will give you results that take a variety of cultural and language considerations into account.
Tip: we recommend carrying out tree tests early on in the design process to maximise the time available for you to make any necessary changes and edits to your digital product.
Tree testing is split into two main components: the tree and the tasks.
The tree is essentially just a text-only version of your website site architecture…it’s what participants will first look at and attempt to navigate.
The tasks are questions you set for your participants, based on their navigation of your tree ie. Where can you find our contact information?
Let’s say you’re an online store selling furniture: you might task participants with where to find leather sofas. Or if you’re a video streaming service, you could task participants with where to upgrade their subscription to HD.
Tip: set your test objectives before creating your tree and writing up your questions. Decide what it is you’re testing and think about what your goals are:
Now that you’ve set some goals, it’s time to create your tree test…
From your personal dashboard, click ‘Create new test’ and then ‘Tree test’.
Select your test language (English or Arabic) and name your new test. Beware that whilst the researcher platform will not show in Arabic, the entire participant experience will be Arabic-friendly (from right to left). Therefore, if you do choose Arabic, remember to switch your keyboard to Arabic and make sure that all your test inputs are written correctly, including your tree test labels and question tasks (more on those soon).
Tip: remember, your test name is visible to participants. Make it appropriate.
This is your chance to introduce participants to the tree test they’re about to take part in.
By default, a generic title and description are already prepopulated. You can choose to proceed without making any changes to them, or personalise your own…
Tip: make your participants feel at ease – clarify test details before it begins.
Pre-test questions help you gain deeper insights into who your participants are, and what they think about your website architecture.
Free text, Single choice, Multiple-choice, and Likert scale.
The test builder is the main content for your tree test.
Your category labels (first level, second level, etc.) are called ‘nodes’, and subcategories are known as ‘child nodes’. These represent the site pages and categories that your participants will navigate during the tree test.
To give an example of what you might label your nodes, let’s imagine we’re an online supermarket selling fruits and vegetables. Our category labels might look something like this:
Tip: preview your test along the way by clicking on the ‘Preview text’ button – then you know exactly what your participants see.
Next you should create the tasks that participants will take part in, ie. the questions they’re asked about how to navigate your site, and what destinations they need to get to.
Your tasks should reflect how your participants would naturally use your website and be linked to your testing objectives.
Tip: use hypothetical scenario-style questions. For example, ‘If you’re making an apple pie, where would you find red apples?
Bonus tip: We recommend adding more than 7 – 10 tasks to avoid the participant getting tired, bored or lost and abandoning the test.
The answer to the above question might be something like:
‘Fruit > apples’
Now, create post-test conclusion questions (optional). These work exactly like the introductory questions – just at the end of the test. They’re great for:
Finish up your tree test by editing your thank you page.
Here you can thank your participants for their time – showing your appreciation.
Once the test has been built, it’s time to publish it. Start by finding participants…
You can either choose to recruit from the UserQ panel or share the link with your own participants.
If you want to use your own participants, skip to step b.
Tip: the recommended minimum number of participants for a tree test is 30.
Bonus tip: customise your participant pool to the target market of your digital product. For example, if you’re creating a tree test for an e-commerce platform that operates solely in the UAE, you’ll likely get the best, most valid results if you select participants who reside in the UAE.
You can share the link with your own testers panel at no extra cost. However, we recommend recruiting from our UserQ panel due to get full use of our wide-reaching participant demographic data, including age, gender, nationality, residency, confidence with technology, employment status, and household status. By using this data, there will be no need for you to ask demographic questions in the test itself.
Tip: remember to apply a promo code if you’ve got one.
Congratulations, your tree test is now live!
You will get a shareable link for the test, no matter whether you’ve selected a UserQ panel or have chosen your own participants only.
We hope our tree testing guide has been helpful. Ready to build yours?
Join as a researcher and start testing your website navigation in just minutes. Get started for free today.
Need a hand with building your tree test? No problem! Send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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