The Perfect Tech Experience

Digital Marketing

Tree tests versus card sorting

User experience is a crucial factor for the effectiveness of the website. If you understand how a user perceives information, it will be much easier for the software testing company to perform the software testing.

Speaking of usability testing, one should first of all think about the navigation of the system and its functionality. Will it be an intuitive and easy-to-use website or app? Here, an expert must remember such useful techniques as tree tests and card sorting.

Both aim to provide the test team with useful results to improve the organization of the system. The main difference is in the execution time: the tree tests are applied after the creation of the structure, while the card sort is done before.

The tree test means that the information is represented in the form of a “tree”, that is, simply and without visualization. It is one of the most important stages of the development process. It can be used in combination with some usability testing tools (eg Treejack).

It presupposes the participation of the various members which will help to understand whether users can find what they are looking for through the available site map.

The main reasons for the performance of tree tests are:

  1. The product’s searchability specification. Mainly, it helps testers to realize the weakest points in the navigation of the application and the ease with which a common user can navigate through it.

  2. Checking for modifications. It should reveal if the problem was fixed after the update and the need for further verification.

Card sorting is done prior to frame design. It assumes that the components or functions of the future website or application must be written on the sheets of paper (the cards). The next step is to give them to the participants whose task is to sort them by groups. This method allows to understand the user’s thinking model.

A usability testing tool like OptimalSort can serve as an additional assistant for the testing process.

What are the main card sorting methods?

  • Open card sorting: participants receive the composition of the card on which the names of the materials on the website are written without any preparatory grouping. They should organize the cards in groups in any way they want and comment on the choice.

  • Closed card sorting: participants receive the composition of the card with the previously specified list of main groups. All you need to do is sort the available cards by these groups.

Thereafter, before proceeding with either manual or automated testing, it is of great importance to determine the level of future installation of the system with navigation, better at the development stage of the system structure.


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