We wanted to share a case study regarding an all to common situation for user researchers — do the same work for half the budget in half the time ;-).


– Work with a healthcare company as they sought to redesign their learning management system (LMS) for medical professionals. Help the project team determine what was working well and what needed to be improved with the current LMS before kicking-off the redesign effort.


– As we were putting together an approach document, we were informed that the client needed the same results in half the time  and with half the budget.


– While our original proposal called for in-person usability testing with the existing website, we realized that changes would need to be made to meet the revised deadline and smaller budget.

— As a result, we moved to conducting a validation study using Optimal Workshops’s Treejack.  This tool enables a user researcher to set up a remote unmoderated study using only tasks and the site tree or information architecture of the site.  The results highlight what is working well and what needs improvement with the site tree or information architecture.

Tree Jack Report Visual

Optimal Workshop’s Treejack provides great visuals to include in your client reports.

— To facilitate a quick and inexpensive participant recruit, we posted the study on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and asked folks to complete the Treejack study quickly and for a low incentive.  In order to capture high level demographic information about the participants, we included a handful of quick questions before allowing them to complete the Treejack study.

Amazon Turk

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk provides an easy view of all the respondents to your digital job.


— We were able to successfully recruit two groups of ten participants to provide us with feedback via Treejack.  It took under 24 hours to recruit each group of participants.

— The client received the feedback they needed to focus their redesign efforts on the most challenging parts of the existing LMS.