Nutrition profile


Tree testing helps you validate your website's information architecture, which is often reflected on menus and labels in a hierarchy of navigation. By asking users to complete tasks and click on labels to navigate, you'll evaluate how findable your content is. Since you're just testing menus and labels, you can run tree tests before developing complete content on your website.

Snippet from an information architecture outline for a library website, including main, tier 2, and tier 3 navigation

Snippet from an information architecture outline for a library website, including main, tier 2, and tier 3 navigation

Cooking time


Tree tests are speedy! While it depends on the number of tasks you ask participants to complete, expect no more than 15 minutes per session.

The analysis of the results may take some time, and we recommend running subsequent tree tests to continue to refine your navigation.

Perfect for


Developing or improving upon a website's information architecture. Tree testing evaluates the hierarchical structure within your navigation, and works well as a next step after card sorting.

We recommend using card sorting as a first step to inform high-level categories of content, followed by tree testing to evaluate task-based navigation and test out deeper levels within your structure.

Prep work


Prepare your menu labels

You'll need to have a detailed information architecture ready for testing. You can put it in a spreadsheet or directly in the tool you're using for the tree test.

<aside> 💡 Information architecture usually refers to a hierarchy of menu items and labels in a website's navigation.

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Tree testing is most useful when you have a hierarchy where participants will need to click several menu items to complete the task being presented. For example, a library website's menu might be something like this:

Example of a draft website menu for an academic library, 2019.

Example of a draft website menu for an academic library, 2019.

Write out your tasks

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