U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

Tools for Analysis and Usability

There are a variety of online tools that can be used to conduct analysis and usability studies. The following tools are free for use by staff and contractors who work on the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website. Please contact Web Usability Coordinator for more information on using these tools.

Tool Purpose Research Questions This Tool Can Address
Survey Gizmo Online surveys
  • Who is using our site/product?
  • What are their goals and tasks?
  • How satisfied are they with our site/product?
Survey Monkey
Crazy Egg Click analytics
  • Where do people click on the page?
  • What content are they ignoring?
OptimalSort Card sorting (to help create a site structure)
  • How would customers organize our content into categories?
  • What labels do they use to describe our content?
Treejack Site structure (information architecture) testing
  • Will this new site structure work for audiences?
  • Can people successfully use our site structure to find what they need?

Survey Gizmo and Survey Monkey

Show Me How it Works
Want to see at a glance what Survey Gizmo looks like and how it works? Check out this short video on Survey Gizmo (WMV 3.9 MB). (Text Version.)

What it does: Survey Gizmo and Survey Monkey are online survey tools that can help you gain a better understanding of your audience, their information needs, and their satisfaction with your product.

These tools collect and aggregate the data for you automatically. They also offer a series of advanced features for analyzing the data, including the ability to run custom reports, cross reference questions, create charts, and combine data sets.

How to access the tools: Contact the Web Usability Coordinator, who will walk you through the pros and cons of each tool and provide access to the tool you choose.

More information: See our page on creating and running surveys to learn more about how to plan and conduct an effective survey.

Crazy Egg

Show Me How it Works
Want to see at a glance what Crazy Egg looks like and how it works? Check out this short video on Crazy Egg (WMV 3.2 MB). (Text Version.)

What it does: Crazy Egg is an online tool that helps answer questions about how users interact with your Web pages. It does this by collecting information on where users click when they come to your page, and creates heat maps and other reports of usage patterns.

How to access the tool: Contact the Web Usability Coordinator.

More information: See the process for setting up CrazyEgg or the click analysis section of EERE's Usability and Analysis Techniques Guidebook to learn more about how to plan and conduct an effective click analysis using Crazy Egg and to find the code that needs to be added to your page prior to the test.

OptimalSort

Show Me How it Works
Want to see at a glance what OptimalSort looks like and how it works? Check out this short video on OptimalSort (MP4 6.5 MB). (Text Version.)

What it does: OptimalSort is an online tool that is used for conducting remote card sorts. Card sorting is a usability activity that helps you understand how users organize and label your site's content, and is generally used to inform the decisions you make when developing the structure and labels (or information architecture) for a website.

OptimalSort automates the data collection process and offers a series of reports to help you analyze and filter your data.

How to access the tool: Contact the Web Usability Coordinator.

More information: See the guide to using Websort or the card sorting section of EERE's Usability and Analysis Techniques Guidebook to learn more about how to plan and conduct an effective card sort.

Treejack

Show Me How it Works
Want to see at a glance what Treejack looks like and how it works? Check out this short video on Treejack (WMV 3.2 MB). (Text Version.)

What it does: Treejack is an online tool for validating your site's structure and labels (information architecture). It is generally used when you've created an outline of your new site structure and want to be sure your customers will be able to find what they need. Specifically, Treejack helps answer questions about which labels work best, whether a structure is too deep, and where to put certain types of content.

As with the other tools, this software gathers data remotely and generates reports that can be used to make decisions about your site structure before going to the time and expense of adding content to your site.

How to access the tool: Contact the Web Usability Coordinator.

More information: See the tree testing section of EERE's Usability and Analysis Techniques Guidebook to learn more about how to plan and conduct an effective tree test.