i'm working on a project where I have to test an information architecture. This kind of IA is multidimensional. So you can access to the same content through several path. Each content is tagged with some metadata (i.e. users type, service type, duration). The site has two main entry points (browse by users type and browse by theme). In addition it has a search bar and a help tool to find a specific service. This tool works asking users to choose one or more user type to whom the service is referring to and one or more theme theme to narrow the search results.

How would you test the information architecture of this site? I was thinking about a card sorting exercise, where each dimension (user type, theme, duration, service type) is a category and the content type are the cards that need to be grouped under one or more categories. Categories can overlapping (like venn diagramm) because one content can refers to two dimensions.

Do you have suggestion? What would you do?

Thank you so much

  • What are you trying to find out from the tests - preferred paths, does your IA match your users' perception? In addition to card sorting, tree testing would help.
    – Ling
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 16:57
  • I'd like to know if IA match the users' perception. I've thought about a treetest, but I'm not sure that it will work because you don't have a hierarchy. Maybe is correct to see if they prefer to access content by theme or by user type, but when you choose your start point, then you can "filter" content using other dimension (among which theme). Is like an information architecture with faceted with two entry point (two faceted). How would you test it? Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


You might also try a tree test. I like Treejack for that. It can help determine if the primary navigation menu is working well, although it won't help much on the search function.

You could test search separately via usability testing combined with analyzing the keywords that users are searching for already. Then you can start to understand if people are finding what they're looking for, if the search listing is sensible, or if any other key issues arise.

  • Yes I was just thinking about it. With the tree test you can test the navigation menu. But we have 3 ways to access content here: - search - browse by theme (faceted navigation) - browse by user type (faceted navigation) If you search a specific content with keyword, you can filter results using several dimension (as user type, theme and other). So the result page has a faceted system to filter it. If you browse by theme or user type, you are filtering result for one primary dimension,, but then you can add other dimension to further narrow results. So what is the best way to test? Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 16:08
  • Card sorting would help you see what categories users expect to find an item. A tree test can show you the most common paths and thus, the dimensions that users would use in a faceted search.
    – Ling
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 17:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.