Top 10 Tree Testing Tools in 2024

This blog will help you pick the best tree testing tool for you that can be utilized to identify usability issues in the website or app navigation.

Author

Soham Saha

Date

March 10, 2024

You might have spent much time making your website attractive, choosing colors, fonts, and logos, and explaining your offer. But did you think about how all the pages on your site fit together? 

When someone comes to your homepage, can they quickly find what they're looking for? Using a tree testing tool helps you create websites that are easy for users to move around, making it simple for them to find the right information.

What is Tree Testing?

The tree testing method, also known as 'reverse card sorting' or 'card-based classification,' is a way to figure out where people struggle to find things on your website or app.

The Tree testing method gives practical feedback on website navigation and labels, helping you make smarter choices about how information is named and arranged. This helps evaluate the information architecture by assessing the user’s ability to locate items in a hierarchical structure.

Here’s an example of tree testing:

Let's consider a scenario where you're testing the navigation of an e-commerce website. If you want to see how easily users can find a specific product category, let's say "Running Shoes."

Tree Structure:

tree testing example

Testing Scenario

You present participants with this simplified structure and ask them to locate "Running Shoes." The participants then navigate through the tree, and you observe their choices and the time it takes to find the desired category. This helps assess the website's navigation's effectiveness and the information architecture's clarity.

Why is Tree Testing Important in UX Research?

importance of tree testing

Tree testing helps ensure your website structure is user-friendly, revealing any roadblocks that might hinder visitors from finding the necessary information. Here are six reasons tree testing matters:

Avoid User Confusion

Tree testing reveals how users navigate your website structure, highlighting areas where they struggle to find specific information. This helps identify confusing labels, illogical structuring of buttons, or hidden content, preventing user frustration and improving their overall experience.

Validate Your Information Architecture (IA)

Tree testing helps assess if your IA aligns with user expectations. Do users intuitively find what they need where you placed it? If not, it reveals flaws in your IA, allowing you to refine it for better findability and customer satisfaction.

Detect Early, Fix Early

Conducting a tree test early in development is much cheaper and faster than fixing issues in a fully built-website. It allows you to identify and address potential problems initially, saving time and resources and avoiding costly rework later.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Tree testing provides quantitative data on user behavior and success rates in finding specific information. This data can objectively guide your decisions on website structure, navigation labels, and content organization, ensuring they are user-friendly and achieve your intended goals.

Compare and Contrast Options

Are you trying to decide between different IA options? Tree testing allows you to compare the usability of different website structures. By testing variations, you can choose the structure that users find most intuitive and efficient, leading to a more successful website overall.

Optimization for Mobile Users

With the rise of mobile browsing, ensuring a smooth mobile experience is crucial. Tree testing helps you assess how users navigate your website on their phones, uncovering any mobile-specific challenges. This allows you to optimize your website for mobile users, ensuring seamless navigation and accessibility across all devices.

Top 10 Tree Testing Tools in 2024

Choosing the right tree testing software saves you time and effort. It automates tasks, recruits testers, and analyzes data, giving you valuable insights quickly and efficiently. To help you find the perfect fit, here are the top 10 tree testing tools in 2024 to consider:

1. Qatalyst

Qatalyst is an AI-powered user research platform designed to help you make informed decisions about your products and services. With Qatalyst, you can conduct moderated and unmoderated user research using various tools and technologies, including eye tracking, facial coding, and mouse movement

Using the tree testing block of Qatalyst, participants are presented with a simplified representation of the product's information hierarchy in the form of a text-based tree structure. This structure typically consists of labels representing different sections, categories, or pages of the website or app. The participants are then given specific tasks or scenarios and asked to locate detailed information within the tree.

2. UXtweak

UXtweak simplifies tree testing, making it a powerful tool for everyone. Here's what it offers:

  • Effortless Tree Test Creation: Build your tree test from scratch, import it, or have UXtweak generate it based on your website's navigation. Save time and ensure seamless integration.
  • Simplified Recruitment: Find participants through UXtweak's built-in pool or share your study link directly—target specific demographics for focused testing.
  • Task Management and Data Analysis: Create tasks for participants and track their performance. Analyze their navigation patterns to identify areas for improvement.
  • Collaboration: Share results with your team to gain diverse perspectives and make informed decisions.

3. Maze

Maze offers a user-friendly platform for various user testing methods, including tree testing. Here's what sets it apart:

  • Intuitive Tree Building: Create your tree structure visually within Maze's drag-and-drop interface. Easy customization makes it adaptable to both simple and complex websites.
  • Targeted Participant Recruitment: Leverage Maze's panel or integrate with recruiting tools to reach specific demographics and ensure your test aligns with your target audience.
  • Task Creation & Feedback Collection: Design tasks for participants to find specific information within your website and gather feedback through multiple-choice questions or open-ended responses.
  • Collaboration & Sharing: Share your test results with colleagues for discussions and collective decision-making. You can also publish specific insights as reports for broader team awareness.

4. PlaybookUX

PlaybookUX focuses specifically on tree testing, offering a user-friendly and comprehensive platform to gain valuable insights into user navigation. Here's how it streamlines the process:

  • Simple Tree Creation: Build your tree structure quickly within PlaybookUX's interface, adding and organizing nodes as needed. Its intuitive design makes it accessible even for those new to tree testing.
  • Participant Recruitment Options: Choose from PlaybookUX's participant panel, upload your list, or integrate with external recruiting tools to find suitable testers for your specific needs.
  • Task Management & Data Collection: Craft clear and concise tasks for participants to complete within your tree structure. Track their success rates, clicks, and time spent on each task to gain valuable insights.
  • Detailed Data Analysis: Analyze results with various tools. View heatmaps, first-click charts, and task completion rates to understand participant behavior and identify areas for improvement.

5. Useberry

Useberry simplifies and streamlines the tree testing process, offering a versatile platform within its broader user research suite. Here's what makes it stand out:

  • Flexible Tree Building: Craft your tree structure within Useberry's interface or import it from existing files. Its user-friendly design allows for customization to suit any website complexity.
  • Streamlined Recruitment: Leverage Useberry's built-in recruiting tools to access a pool of pre-qualified participants or invite your testers through email or social media.
  • Task Creation and Feedback: Design precise tasks for participants to find specific information within your website and gather feedback through various methods, including open-ended comments and multiple-choice questions.
  • Integrated User Research Platform: Useberry seamlessly integrates tree testing with other user research methods available in their suite, allowing for a holistic understanding of user experience.

6. Userlytics

Userlytics streamlines the process of tree testing, a method for evaluating how users find information within your website or app. Here's how it helps:

  • Remote Testing: Recruit participants and conduct the tree testing remotely, saving time and resources.
  • Easy Setup: Define the tree structure and tasks within Userlytics' platform.
  • User-friendly Interface: Participants navigate a tree-like structure to find information, simulating real-world behavior.
  • Data Analysis: Userlytics automatically gathers data on user choices, clicks, and completion times.
  • Reporting & Insights: Generate reports that identify navigation issues and suggest improvements for your information architecture.

7. Usertesting

UserTesting excels at facilitating tree testing by providing a platform that gathers both qualitative and quantitative user insights. Here's how it benefits your tree testing:

  • Recruiting Diverse Participants: Access UserTesting's pool of contributors to find participants that match your target audience.
  • Think-aloud Recordings: Participants can "think aloud" while navigating the tree structure, revealing their thought processes and decision-making.
  • Task-based Testing: Set specific tasks that require users to find information, mimicking real-world scenarios.
  • Data & Analytics: UserTesting provides reports on task success rates, chosen paths, and time taken, offering a clear picture of user navigation behavior.

8. Optimal Workshop

Optimal Workshop offers a dedicated tool specifically designed for tree testing:  Treejack. Here's how Treejack helps you conduct effective tree testing:

  • Efficient Test Creation: Build your tree structure easily using an intuitive interface. No coding is required.
  • Focus on Information Architecture: Treejack removes visual design elements, isolating how users navigate based on labels and hierarchy.
  • Remote Testing: Recruit participants and conduct the tests remotely, making it convenient and cost-effective.
  • Automated Analysis: Treejack automatically analyzes data from your tests, providing insights into task completion rates, chosen paths, and time taken.
  • Benchmarking: Compare results from different tree structures to identify the most intuitive information architecture.
  • Actionable Insights: Gain a clear understanding of user behavior and identify areas where your website's structure or labeling needs improvement.

9. UXArmy

UXArmy excels in providing a user-friendly and efficient platform for conducting tree testing, focusing on evaluating the clarity and effectiveness of your website or app's navigation structure. 

Here's how UXArmy can be a valuable tool in your tree testing process:

  • Simple Test Setup: Define your website's menu hierarchy using familiar formats like XLS or CSV files, or build it directly within UXArmy's platform.
  • Task-oriented Testing: Create realistic tasks that users must complete within your website or app, simulating real-world navigation scenarios.
  • Focus on Labeling: UXArmy allows you to test different labels for menu items to determine what resonates best with users and facilitates easier information discovery.
  • Success Rate Analysis: Analyze users' success rate in completing tasks, helping you pinpoint potential navigation issues.
  • Screener & Questionnaires: Integrate screener questions to recruit the right participants and pre/post-test questionnaires to gather additional user feedback and insights.

10. UXMetrics

UXMetrics specifically targets simplifying and streamlining the process of tree testing, making it accessible to a wider range of users. Here's how UXMetrics can be a helpful tool for your tree testing endeavors:

  • Cost-effective Solution: UXMetrics offers a free plan, allowing you to conduct tree testing without a significant financial investment, which is especially beneficial for smaller projects or initial testing phases.
  • Unlimited Testing: Unlike some platforms with limitations on tests or participants, UXMetrics allows you to run unlimited tree tests, making it ideal for iterating and refining your information architecture.
  • Easy Test Creation: Build your tree structure using a user-friendly interface like other tree testing software. No coding knowledge is required.
  • Pattern Discovery: UXMetrics calculates agreement scores and frequency rankings, helping you discover patterns in user behavior and identify optimal labeling and grouping for your website or app's information architecture.
  • Collaboration & Sharing: Share reports easily with your team and stakeholders, fostering collaboration and informed decision-making about website or app improvements.

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Some of the Common Use Cases of Tree Testing

Whether you're in the process of launching a new product or overseeing the management of a content-rich platform, utilizing tree testing can significantly contribute to making well-informed design decisions. Here are some specific scenarios where tree testing proves invaluable:

1. New Product Development

When embarking on creating a new website, mobile app, software suite, or digital platform, proper organization and presentation of information are crucial. Tree testing allows you to assess and validate the proposed Information Architecture's (IA) usability before committing resources to development.

2. Website Redesigns or Site Migrations

During a website overhaul, relocation, or rebranding effort, maintaining the intuitiveness of the site and ensuring that crucial functionalities remain easily accessible is paramount. Tree testing becomes a valuable tool in keeping the user experience at the forefront, confirming that the changes enhance navigation and findability.

3. A/B Testing Different Information Architectures (IAs)

In cases where users struggle to locate features within a software suite and different proposals are suggested for reorganizing these features, tree testing proves beneficial. It allows for evaluating each proposed IA without the need for complete implementation, ensuring that the chosen structure effectively enhances user experience.

How Do You Create a Tree Test in Qatalyst?

To create a tree test, follow these simple steps: 

Step 1

Sign in to your Qatalyst account. This will take you to the dashboard. Once on the dashboard, click the "Create Study" button to start making a new study.

Step 2

When making a new study, find the "+" button in the creation interface and click on it. Then, choose "Tree Testing" from the list of available options.

Step 3

After adding the block, create your question and organize the information by adding labels and setting up parent-child relationships in a tree-like structure.

Step 4

To improve your research, add more survey sections as you go along. Follow the same process from Step 2: click the "+" button and choose different block types to ask questions related to the test.

How to view the result?

In the result section of the Tree Test, you will find the following two sections:

  • End Screen: This section will show the label submitted by the users as the answer to the task and the percentage of users who selected that label.
  • Common Path: In this section, you will see the path the respondents navigated, starting from the parent label to the child label they have submitted.

Final Words

Tree testing provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your website or app's information architecture. By understanding how users navigate your digital product and find specific information, you can identify areas for improvement and ultimately create a more user-friendly experience that drives engagement and increases conversion rates.

Do your research before choosing the right tree-testing tool. By picking the right tool, you can see how your users find information, pinpoint navigation issues, and improve your website's overall user experience. 

Supercharge your research with actionable insights faster on Decode's integrated consumer research platform with Insights AI.
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Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Build the Right Products, the Right Way: Elevate your UX with Qatalyst's integrated user research platform with Insights AI.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the tree testing method?

Tree testing is a method where people try to find information on a website or app by navigating through a simplified tree-like structure. It helps evaluate how easy it is for users to locate specific details or perform tasks.

What is treejack testing?

Treejack testing is a method used to assess the effectiveness of a website or app's information structure (or tree structure). Participants are given tasks to find specific information by navigating through the tree structure, helping evaluate the organization and labeling content for user-friendly navigation.

What is the example of a tree testing scenario?

1

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

2

Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

3

Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

4

Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Saving the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Publish the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

An example of a tree testing scenario could be asking participants to find where to change their account password on a website. They would navigate through a simplified tree structure to locate the correct path or category for updating their password.

What is a 5-second test?

1

Log into 

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

2

Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

3

Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

4

Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

5

Saving the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

6

Publish the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

A 5-second test is a quick usability test where participants are shown a design or webpage for only 5 seconds and then asked questions to see what they remember. It helps assess the first impression and clarity of important information on a webpage or design.

1

Log into 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

2

Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

3

Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

4

Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

5

Saving the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

6

Publish the Template

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

Author Bio

Soham is a true Manchester United fan who finds joy in more than just football. Whether navigating the open road, scoring virtual goals in FIFA, reading novels, or enjoying quality time with friends, Soham embraces a life full of diverse passions.

Soham Saha

Product Marketing Specialist

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