Tree Testing: User Testing of Information Hierarchies

Tree Testing: User Testing of Information Hierarchies

Prof. Keith Andrews
Graz University of Technology, Austria


Tree testing is a method for evaluating an information hierarchy,
widely used in the field of information architecture (IA).
Representative test users are presented with a plain, undecorated
version of an information hierarchy (tree) and are asked to locate
specific items within it. Their progress is recorded, and once a
sufficient number of participants have oompleted the tree test, the
overall results are analysed, and the information hierarchy can be
improved. Tree testing can be performed using paper cards, locally
installed software, or online web applications. This talk will explain
how tree testing is done and will survey some of the tools available
to support it.


Keith Andrews is a tenured associate professor at the Institute of
Interactive Systems and Data Science (ISDS) at Graz University of
Technology, in Austria. Having done work in the fields of computer
graphics, 3d worlds, hypermedia, and the web, he is currently pursuing
research in the fields of information visualisation and
usability. Keith helped organise the very first IEEE Symposium on
Information Visualization in 1995, was program co-chair in 2001 and
2002, and general chair in 2005.

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