Over the past week, we conducted a tree test on a portion of our potential navigation. We needed to test our placement of content and ensure that beta testers would be able to find specific items. We based the structure of the navigation on our previous usability testing, including our card sorts and surveys.
Forty-two percent of beta testers participated. There were seven tasks in the tree test, each task consisting of a scenario and question. Testers were asked to select the place in the navigation where they would expect to find the answer to the question. For some tasks, the content could correctly be found in more than one place. We also asked four questions at the end of the survey.
In the results shared below, "success" is measured by the percentage of respondents whose answers matched our planned placement of the content in the navigation. Analyzing the test results helped us confirm or adjust the location and organization of specific content. The navigation we tested is not finalized or complete, and based on this test's results, we will be testing a revised navigation in the near future.
Task 1: You are going on vacation and traveling lightly. You want to load your e-reader with e-books before you go. Where would you find e-books?
This question on average was the quickest to be answered and had the highest success rate with 82% of testers selecting the location we expected. The success of this task also supports written feedback from many testers that this was the easiest question to answer from the task list. Because we have a high percentage of testers who enjoy using our e-book services we wanted to confirm that this format could easily be located through a Books category.
Task 2: You're interested in getting up to date with Microsoft Office, but you don't have time to come to the library to take a class. Where would you find a self-paced tutorial or instructional videos to learn about Microsoft Office products?
There was a 58% success rate for this task. The feedback was that this was an easy question but many of these respondents did not actually select the answer we were anticipating as a match. We attribute this result to a lack of context provided in the scenario. We're going to explore ways to emphasize our at-home services that may have not been clear in this test.
Task 3: There's a TV series you'd like to watch that you can't find in the library collection. You'd like to recommend that the Library purchase the TV series to add to the collection. Where would you go?
This task had a 54% success rate. A fair amount of testers looked in Services but backtracked and looked in other areas. Testers also checked Help making it the second most nominated section.
Task 4: You've heard the Library offers e-magazines. Where would you go to download the current issue of Rolling Stone?
Based on the feedback in the open comments and the results reviewed from the test, testers had a hard time finding this item. To enhance discoverability of e-magazines, we are planning to adjust the Book category label to Books & Magazines.
Task 5: You're writing a paper and need some quick facts on sea turtles. You know the Library offers access to World Book Online and that it's a good source for this type of information. Where would you go to access World Book Online?
This scenario resulted in a 60% success rate (Articles & Databases), with Subject Guides being the next most selected answer. We account for some people choosing E-books because we think the database title, "World Book Online," might have implied that they were looking for an e-book.
Task 6: You're a teen who needs to complete volunteer hours for a scholarship. Where would you find an application to volunteer at the Library?
This was one of the questions testers had the most difficulty with, based on the question results and the testers' comments. We determined that this could be due to the term "volunteer" taking on the main objective of the question versus our intention to test Teen content. But this did allow us to rethink the categories we currently have planned in the footer section of the new website (which was not included in this tree test). Realizing that "volunteer" is a term users would look for in a general or neutral area, we are brainstorming ideas that would form a new section of the footer (with our other general information) which would group donation information, Friends of the Library, and volunteering opportunities.
Task 7: You lost your library card. Where would you find out how much it is to replace your library card?
Some testers did not think to look for fee policies in Services and instead opted for Help. These results indicated that the Services label could use more context as a category item. In the next tree test we will test adjustments to category labels and organization based on this feedback.