Visualizing A Taxonomy Using Tree Testing

In the summer of 2012, I worked with Matt Turpin and the wonderful folks at the Seattle-based UX Design firm Fell Swoop on a taxonomy redesign of the FAQ pages on a client’s website.

***Update 11/22/19: no longer exists but it lives on via the Internet Archive. Here’s the FAQ page before the taxonomy redesign and after.

We conducted user testing in the form of a closed card sort and multiple tree tests using Optimal Workshop’s awesome tools. Not only did the results of the card sort and tree testing inform the taxonomy redesign, but Optimal Workshop’s OptimalSort and Treejack created great visual deliverables that we used to show the client how we were progressing and the improvements that we were making.

As a taxonomist and information architect, it was a revelation to not only incorporate user testing into a taxonomy project, but have compelling metrics and visual deliverables instead of just a spreadsheet to present to the client.

I wrote an article about the project that was recently posted on the Fell Swoop blog.

***Update 11/22/2019:  FellSwoop took down the blog post a long time ago, but it lives on via the Internet Archive. Read the archived version here.

X-posted on my Infogration Consulting blog.