Website navigation testing with Treejack

The Quality and Marketing team have been using a tool called Treejack to test navigation structures for a potential combined IT & Library website when the time comes to move to the new Kent web theme.

What’s Treejack?

Treejack is a tool by Optimal Workshop that tests a website’s labelling and navigation structure. It gives participants a task to complete, and asks them to show which headings they’d click to do the task.

Want to see how it works? Take a demo test.

Testing and findings

We made a test navigation structure with most top-level headings based on user types, and ask passers-by on campus (mainly undergraduates) to complete three of these tasks:

  • What would you click to set up Wi-Fi on your phone?
  • Find out how long you can borrow a library book for.
  • What would you click if you have forgotten your Kent IT Account password?
  • Where would you find information about the Templeman Library’s group study rooms?
  • You’re looking for a journal article. Where would you check if you can access it online?

For most tasks, most participants successfully took the correct path. However, they struggled with the task of finding out how long they can borrow a book for. Most clicked the heading “find resources”, which didn’t contain borrowing information.¬†This suggests that:

  • users may prefer a task-based navigation structure
  • information on borrowing and finding resources should be grouped together more closely. This makes sense because they are stages of the same journey for users.

We’ll bear this in mind for future tests, and as we develop a possible structure for a combined site.

In future tests, it would also be sensible to investigate how users find a purely user-based or purely task-based navigation structure, without mixing them up. And/or, as we get closer to a final new web theme, testing pages in a more visual way, rather than purely on navigation headings.