4 Best IA Tools

“Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way. The goal is to help users find information and complete tasks.”Usability.gov

The foundation of any website’s navigation is its information architecture. Good and effective IA guarantees that your website will be easy to browse and navigate, that all the labels and categories are descriptive and easy-to understand. 

The main goal of improving your current information architecture is to create a user-friendly website that encourages users to complete their tasks and doesn’t let them get lost. 

Find more information about the IA and it’s components here.

What are the IA tools?

As many of us already know, in order to create a user-friendly IA you have to test it on your real users. And the best way to do that is with the help of Card Sorting and Tree Testing methods.’

Card sorting is always something you begin with. It gives you insights on all the ultimate ways to group your content, label the categories and organize the menu. Based on the card sorting study results you can create several potential IA models for your future website. But after that you have to test them too, in order to find the best one and make sure everything works perfectly.

That’s when Tree Testing takes place. Being also known as a reverse Card Sorting process, tree tests help you evaluate your Information architecture, define the perfect structure and uncover the confusion points. 

IA tools are usually the UX research tools that have both Card Sorting and Tree Testing methods in its toolbox. There are not so many of them, that’s why I decided to group them all in one article and create this simple comparison. 

Best IA tools on the market:

UXtweak

5/5

UXtweak is my absolute favorite when it comes to improving your IA. They have all the features you need for an insightful study, combined with advanced analytics and great UI design.

They also offer a  recruiting widget which is a great time saver. 

Card Sorting: Open, Closed, Hybrid

Tree Testing: Yes

Benefits:

  • Easy set up
  • Advanced analytics and PDF reports
  • Great UI, easy to understand even for a complete beginner
  • Competitive price and a free plan
 

Pricing (best quality-price ratio)

  • Free plan: unlimited studies, 3 tasks per study and 10 participants per study
  • Individual plan starting at $115/mo
  • 50% discounts for NGO and Edu
ia tools

Optimal Workshop

4/5

 Optimal Workshop’s Treejack and Optimal sort tools are quite well known on the market. With over 15 years on the market OW knows what to focus on.

Card Sorting: Open, Closed, Hybrid

Tree Testing: Yes

Benefits:

  • Good analytics
  • Easy UI
 

Downsides:

  • Their reports may be hard to understand
  • price
 

Pricing

  • Free plan: 3 tasks per study & 10 participants per study
  • Individual plan starting at $199/mo (unlimited studies)
  • Offers team and enterprise plans when you need more seats
ia tools

UserZoom

3/5

Userzoom is mostly aiming at larger corporations. The toolkit is great and the app works very well, but the pricing cuts at least half the star down.

Card Sorting: Open, Closed

Tree Testing: Yes

Benefits:

  • Easy set up 
 

Downsides:

  • Very pricey compared to others on the market
  • UI is not suitable for a complete beginner
  • Reports may be hard to read
 

Pricing

  • 14-day free trial
  • UserZoom plans starting at $250/mo (only 15 Studies per year) and going up to thousands
  • No option of free plan
ia tools

UXarmy

3/5

UXarmy is one of the newer UX tools on the market. It offers a good toolkit and pleasant UI.

Card Sorting: Open, Closed, Hybrid

Tree Testing: Yes

Benefits:

  • Great UI
 

Downsides:

  • Not tested out yet as it’s relatively new on the market
  • Only English supported
  • Does not offer free forever plan
 

Pricing

  • 7-day free trial (Unlimited Projects)
  • Individual plan starting at $99/mo

IA tools: conclusion

Millions of successful cases have demonstrated that these tools work wonders when it comes to creating an intuitive navigation, and it’s nearly difficult to design a user-friendly website without them.

I hope this comparison will assist you in choosing the best option for your needs!