Treejack

What is Treejack?

Treejack is another word for tree testing. This terminology was brought into the UX world by Optimal Workshop and it quite often confuses people who are new to testing.  The truth is, treejack is just another name for their tree testing tool. This means that you can conduct a treejack and improve your website’s information architecture using any of the tools from my best tree testing tools list.

How to set up a treejack?

Create your tree

A tree is a text-only version of your website’s structure. It represents the hierarchy of all your menu’s topics and subtopics but does not contain any graphic components allowing testers to focus exclusively on the IA.

You can either make it from scratch or import it as a CSV file.

Define tasks for the testers 

The tasks should represent real user scenarios from the website. For example, if we are testing the Travel Bus company’s website, the task would be: 

“Tomorrow you’ll travel by bus from town A to town B. Where would you look for the tickets?”

During the tree test the respondent will go through the tree, try to find the solution to your tasks and click where they would expect to find a certain item.

Recruit the participants

You can share a link to your study on your website, via social media, email or just recruit people from the tool’s respondent pool.

When do you need a treejack?

You can conduct a treejack at any stage of the development process as long as you already have an Information Architecture to test. If not, I recommend starting with card sorting first. It will allow you to gather all the important insights on content organization and then create an IA model to test with treejack. 

If you don’t have the proper answers to the following questions, tree test is a must for your website:

  • Do users find desired information on your website easily and quickly?
  • Do they understand the labels as they are intended?
  • Is your content grouped logically and according to the user’s expectations?
  • Do people get lost on your website while trying to navigate through and if so, where?

Tips for a successful treejack:

  • The optimal number of participants is 30-50 people
  • Write tasks using different terms and phrases than the nodes, don’t give away the answer
  • Do not set more then 10 tasks per test
  • Write tasks based on the hypothetical scenarios that imitate real life situations

How Good Do You Know Tree Testing?

Test your knowlege with this short tree testing quiz and find out if you’re ready for your first study!