Information architecture

The primary aim of this form of testing is to verify the assumptions used to develop the overall information architecture of a site. It measures how well information is grouped on a site and the appropriateness of navigation labels.

The main tool is Navigation (or Structural) Testing, which is a user-centred, task-based process for determining the navigation choices users make when attempting to obtain information from a site. The testing uses simple mock-ups (either paper or electronic) of the homepage and key interior pages of the site. A representative sample from target audience groups for the site is asked to use the mock-ups to indicate how they would approach some typical site tasks.

Navigation testing is often undertaken before the preparation of site pages or page templates. As such, it is a highly cost-effective way of identifying and avoiding problems users might have when seeking information from a site

The testing sessions are conducted on an individual basis and the results are then collated and analysed to give an overall indication of how well the proposed Information Architecture and navigation schemas meet user expectations.