Tree testing versus card sorting

User experience is a crucial factor for the effectiveness of the website. Understanding how a user perceives information will make it much easier for the software testing company to run software tests.

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

Both are intended to provide the test team with useful results to improve system organization. The main difference is in the execution time: tree testing is applied after the structure is created, while map sorting is completed earlier.

Tree testing means that the information is presented in the form of a “tree”, in other words in a simple way without any visualization. It is one of the most important stages in the development process. It can be used in combination of a number of usability testing tools (eg Treejack).

It assumes the involvement of the different members that will help to understand if the users can find what they are looking for through the available sitemap.

The main reasons for tree testing performance are:

  1. The specification of the product discovery. First, it helps testers realize the weaknesses in the application navigation and how easily an ordinary user can navigate through it.

  2. Check the change. It should reveal whether the issue has been resolved after the update and the need for additional checking.

Card sorting is done before designing the structure. 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 job it is to sort them by groups. This method makes it possible to understand the model thinking of the user.

Such a utility for testing usability as OptimalSort can serve as an additional assistant in the testing process.

What are the main card sorting methods?

  • Open map sorting – participants receive the map composition on which the names of the website material are written without any preparatory clustering. They should arrange the cards in groups as they want and comment on the choice.

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

Then, before continuing with manual testing or automated testingit is of great importance to determine the level of the future system facility with navigation, better at the stage of system structure development.

Source by Helen Johnson