Guide: Treejacking in UX

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      Treejacking is another term for tree testing, which is a type of UX architecture testing used to evaluate a proposed site structure by asking users to find items based on the website’s organization. It is an online tool that presents participants with tree-like structures, asking them to locate specific items or content. By analyzing their paths and choices, UX designers can optimize website navigation and provide a better user experience.

      Tree testing is a highly valuable exercise to get a clear view of what real users expect as topics in the navigation of a website and how these topics are clustered from primary to secondary. The purpose of a treejack test is to test and evaluate the navigation structure and information hierarchy of a website. It can be used to evaluate the results from a card sorting exercise that is used to generate an information structure or any established website structure. The results from a treejack test help UX designers optimize website navigation and provide a better UX for users.

      Guide: Treejacking in UX


      • Create a sitemap of your product or website.


      • Identify the most important tasks that users want to accomplish on your site.


      • Prepare tasks or scenarios that the study participants will use to direct them as they try to accomplish your site’s top tasks.


      • Define metrics to evaluate the success of the participants.


      • Recruit participants from your target audience.


      • Present participants with tree-like structures, asking them to locate specific items or content.


      • Analyze their paths and choices to identify areas where your navigation system doesn’t perform as expected, so the user cannot find what they need.


      • Based on the testing results, you can see where your users would expect to find the information, and you can make improvements to your product based on real user behavior.


      • Treejacking is a quick, simple, and inexpensive way to evaluate the content organization in your product.



      • Quick: Treejacking is a fast and iterative way to discover the path your customers expect to take. It is a quick and simple way to evaluate your site structure early on in the research process.


      • Easy recruitment: Recruitment of participants is fairly straightforward. 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.


      • Cost-effective: Can be done remotely, which is its biggest advantage. Therefore it is cheaper, more efficient, and valuable.


      • Data analysis: Data analysis is pretty simple, and results can be acted on quickly. At the end of your study, treejacking generates a report that helps you evaluate your participants’ success.


      • No researcher bias: As the sessions are performed remotely, there are fewer to no chances of researcher bias.


      • Difficult to visualize: As the site structure is in its basic form, there are no visual elements that might help users to navigate the site. This can make it difficult for participants to understand the context of the tasks they are performing.


      • Limited scope: Treejacking only evaluates the findability of content on a website and does not provide insights into other aspects of the user experience, such as visual design or content quality.


      • Limited sample size: The sample size of participants in a treejacking study is usually small, which can limit the generalizability of the results.


      • Limited feedback: Only provides feedback on the success or failure of specific tasks and does not provide feedback on the overall user experience.
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