Tree Testing is a method of testing the performance of the proposed navigation, and thereby the information architecture, of your site. It will determine the findability of topics on your website. It is often used to validate the results of a card sorting project.
How to do Tree Testing
Basics: Show users the navigation only--not a complete user interface--and ask them what menu item they would select to perform a certain task or find specific information.
Tree testing is generally done with individuals instead of groups.
You can do this in a low-tech way, using index cards, or in a high tech way with online software applications.
Step by Step
Repeat step 4 until they find the item or backtrack.
Collecting and Analyzing Tree Test Data
Data Collection and Analysis
The important pieces of information to record are
As for analysis, the general consensus seems to be that sophisticated analysis isn't really necessary. Just as with usability testing, it will be pretty obvious where your hierarchy is confusing people and steps you might take to fix the problems.
Tree Testing Tools
Index cards, with the menu titles and subsequent levels of hierarchy written on them and organized into that hierarchy.