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An Introduction to Treejack Out on a limb with your IA Dave O ’ Brien Optimal Usability.

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Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to Treejack Out on a limb with your IA Dave O ’ Brien Optimal Usability."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Introduction to Treejack Out on a limb with your IA Dave O ’ Brien Optimal Usability

2 Welcome Dave O ’ Brien Optimal Usability Wellington, New Zealand 22 Jan attendees USA, CA, UK, NZ, AU, BR, CO

3 Agenda Quickie Treejack tour What is tree testing? Planning a tree test Setting up Treejack Running a test High-level results Detailed results Lessons learned (Q&A throughout)

4 Poll Have you used Treejack yet? No, haven’t tried it yet = 20% Yes, but only a practice test = 60% Yes, have run a "real" test = 20%

5 Tree testing - the 5-minute tour Creating a medium or large website Does your top-down structure make sense?

6 Does your structure work? Can users find particular items in the tree? Can they find them directly, without having to backtrack? Could they choose between topics quickly, without having to think too much? Which parts of your tree work well? – Which fall down?

7 Create a site tree

8 Write some tasks

9 Put this into Treejack

10 Invite participants

11 Participants do the test

12 You see the results

13 Live demo for participants*

14 What is tree testing, really? Testing a site structure for – Findability – Labeling

15 What ’ s it good for? Improving organisation of your site Improving top-down navigation Improving your structure ’ s terminology (labels) Comparing structures (before/after, or A vs. B) Isolating the structure itself Getting user data early (before site is built) Making it cheap & quick to try out ideas

16 What it ’ s NOT NOT testing other navigation routes NOT testing page layout NOT testing visual design NOT a substitute for full user testing NOT a replacement for card sorting

17 Origin Paper tree testing – “ card-based classification ” – Donna Spencer – Show lists of topics on index cards – In person, score manually, analyse in Excel

18 Make it faster & easier Create a web tool for remote testing Quick for a designer to learn and use Simple for participants to do the test Able to handle a large sample of users Able to present clear results Quick turnaround for iterating

19 But I already do card sorting! Open card sorting is generative – Suggests how your users mentally group content – Helps you create new structures Closed card sorting – almost not quite Tree testing is evaluative – Tests a given site structure – Shows you where the structure is strong & weak – Lets you compare alternative structures

20 A useful IA approach Run a baseline tree test (existing structure) – What works? What doesn ’ t? Run an open card sort on the content – How do your users classify things? Come up with some new structures Run tree tests on them (same tasks) – Compare to each other – Compare to the baseline results

21 Planning a tree test Stakeholder interview Find out who, what, when, etc. – fill in "planning questions" template Get the tree(s) in digital format – use Excel tree-import template, etc.

22 Getting the tree Import a digital format – Excel – Text file – Word Or enter in Treejack

23 Poll How big are your trees? Small (less than 50 items) = 25% Medium ( items) = 39% Large ( items) = 22% Huge (more than 250 items) = 14%

24 Tree tips Recommend <1000 items Bigger? Cut it down by: – Using top N levels (e.g. 3 or 4) – Testing subtrees separately* – Pruning branches that are unlikely to be visited Remove “ helper ” topics – e.g. Search, Site Map, Help, Contact Us Watch for implicit topics!

25 Implicit topics Create your tree based on the content, not just the page structure. Contact Us North America Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. South America Europe Home Products Support Contact Us South America Europe Home Products Support Contact Us North America South America Europe

26 User groups and tasks Identify your user groups Draft representative tasks for each group – Tasks must be “ real ” for those users! ~10 tasks per participant – Beware the learning effect – Small tree ~8, large tree ~12 – More tasks? Limit per participant – Randomise the task order

27 Drafting tasks What parts of the tree do you want to test? – Coverage should reflect importance Each task must: – Be specific – Be clearly worded – Use the customer ’ s language – Be concise Beware “ give-away ” words! Review now, preview before the real test

28 Setting up a Treejack project Creating a Treejack project Entering your tree Entering the tasks and answers Less on mechanics, more on tips

29 Creating a project New vs. Duplicate Survey name vs. address Identification – The “ Other ” option – Passing an argument in the URL urvey/test1?i=12345 urvey/test1?i=12345

30 Entering your tree Paste from Excel, Word, text file, etc. “ Top ” – how to replace Randomising – Not the same as randomising tasks Changing the tree after entering answers Lesson learned: – Edit/review/finalise the tree elsewhere before putting it into Treejack

31 Entering tasks and answers Preview is surprisingly useful Multiple correct answers – The “ main ” answer is usually not enough – Check the entire tree yourself Must choose bottom-level topics – Workaround: Mark all subtopics correct – Workaround: Remove the subtopics Choose answers LAST

32 Task options Randomising tasks – almost always Limiting the # of tasks – tasks = 10 per participant – Increase the # of participants to get enough results per task Skip limit – Eliminate users who didn ’ t really try – Defaults to 50%

33 Testing the test Not previewing/piloting is just plain dumb – Spot mistakes before launch Preview the entire test yourself Pilot it with stakeholders and sample users – Launch it, get feedback, duplicate, revise Look for: – Task wording (unclear, ambiguous, typos) – Unexpected “ correct ” answers – Misc. problems (e.g. instructions)

34 Poll How many participants do you get per test? 1 – 20 = 44% 21 – 40 = 20% 41 – 100 = 24% Over 100 = 12%

35 Running the tree test Invite participants – Website-page invitations – invitations Recommend >30 users per user group/test Monitor early results for problems – low # of surveys started invitation not clear? Subject = spam? Not engaging? – low completion rate didn ’ t set expectations? Test too long? Too hard? Generally less taxing than card sorting

36 Skimming high-level results 10/100/1000 level of detail Middling overall score – Often many highs with a few lows Inspect tasks with low scores (low total or low sub-scores) Inspect the pie charts

37 Success % who chose a correct answer (directly or indirectly) low Success score – check the spreadsheet to see where they went wrong – Destinations tab – Path tab

38 Directness % of successful users who did not backtrack – Coming soon: making this independent of success low Directness score – check the spreadsheet for patterns in their wandering – Paths tab

39 Speed % who completed this task at about the same speed as their other tasks – % who completed task within 2 standard deviations of their average task time for all tasks 70% Speed score – 7/10 users went their “normal” speed – 3/10 users took substantially longer than normal for them Low Speed score – indicates that user hesitated when making choices – e.g. choices are not clear or not mutually distinguishable Wish: add the raw times to the spreadsheet, so you can do your own crunching as needed. Overall score uses a grid to combine these scores in a semi-intelligent fashion

40 Detailed results – destinations Where did people end up? # who chose a given topic as the answer Wrong answers – High totals - problem with that topic (perhaps in relation to its siblings) – Clusters of totals – problem with the parent level Ignore outliers – For >30 sessions, ignore topics that get <3 clicks.

41 Detailed results – destinations Look for high “ indirect success ” rates (>20%) – Check paths for patterns of wandering Look for high “ failure ” rates (>25%) – Check the wrong answers above Look for high skip rates (> 10%) – Check paths for where they bailed out. Look for "evil attractors" – Topics that get clicks across several seemingly unrelated tasks. – Usually a vague term that needs tightening up

42 Detailed results – first clicks Where they went on their first click – Important for task success Which sections they visited overall – Did they visit the right section but back out?

43 Detailed results – paths Click-by-click paths that they took through the tree Useful when asking: – How the heck did they get way over there? – Did a lot of them take the same detour? No web UI for removing participants. – Support and we ’ ll fix you up.

44 Some lessons learned Test new against old Revise and test again – quick cycles Test a few alternatives at the same time Cover the sections according to their importance Analysis is easier than for card sorting Use in-person testing to get the “ why ” – Paper is still effective (and free!) for this Tree testing is only part of your IA work

45 What ’ s coming Better scoring for Directness, Speed Improved results (10/100/1000) General enhancements across Treejack, OptimalSort, and Chalkmark Whatever you yell loudest for … – GetSatisfaction lets you “ vote ” for issues

46 Tree testing – more resources Boxes & Arrows article on tree testing Donna Spencer’s article on paper tree testing fication_evaluation fication_evaluation Treejack website Webinars, slides, articles, user forum

47 Getting your input Specific issues/questions – Feature requests – Check the support forum (GetSatisfaction) – “ Feedback ” button

48 Thanks!

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