Tree Testing Vs Card Sorting

User experience is a crucial factor for the website effectiveness. If one understands the way a user perceives information, it will be much easier for the software testing company to perform software testing.

Speaking about usability testing, one should, firstly, think about the system navigation and its functionality. Will it be an intuitive and easy to use website or application? Here, an expert needs to remember such useful techniques as tree testing and card sorting.

Both of them are aimed to provide the test team with the useful outcomes, in order to improve the system organization. The main difference is in the execution time: tree testing is applied after the structure creation while card sorting is fulfilled before.

Tree testing means that the information is represented in the form of a “tree”, in other words, in a simple manner without any visualization. It is one of the most important stages in the development process. It may be utilized in the combination of some usability testing tools (e.g., Treejack).

It presupposes the various members’ involvement that will help to understand whether the users are able to find what they are looking for via available sitemap.

Main Reasons for the Tree Testing Performance Are:

  1. The product findability specification. Primarily, it assists the testers to realize the weakest points in the application navigation and how easily an ordinary user may navigate it.
  2. The modification checking. It should reveal whether the problem is fixed after the updating and the necessity of the additional checking.

Card sorting is conducted before the structure designing. It presupposes that the components or functions of the future website or application should 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 the groups. This method allows to understand the model thinking of the user.

Such usability testing tool as OptimalSort may serve as additional assistant to the test process.

What Are Main Methods of Card Sorting?

  • Open card sorting – the participants are given the card composition on which the names of the website materials are written without any preparatory clustering. They are required to arrange the cards in groups the way they like and to comment the choice.
  • Closed card sorting – the participants are provided with the card composition with the earlier specified list of the main groups. All they need to do is to sort the available cards by these groups.
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