In February 2018, I conducted information architecture research for a client merging four companies. A very lean UX process was employed for this study by using a combination of card sorting and tree testing.
The navigation design was driven and directed by the following activities:
1. Determining whether users will be able to successfully navigate to desired content using the proposed categories
2. Comparing alternative placements and labels for items which had ambiguous results in the card sort study (e.g. Tanks, which was associated with water filters but also brought up at a higher level.)
3. Evaluating the navigation at the product level to gain a stronger insight into the user mental model of items at a granular level.
80 general web users were recruited to participate in this evaluation, which used 2 different methods to evaluate the proposed categories:
• Open card sorting, a method in which participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and provide a label for these groups.
• Tree testing, in which participants complete tasks that require them to find specific topics using a clickable version of the proposed intranet menu. This illustrates where users click when looking for particular topics, and whether they are able to understand the menus and navigate to the correct items. This method evaluates only the menus and labels, and does not include any
screen design or content to help explain the labels.