Get a headstart on your research with templates

4 min read Sarah Flutey

We’re excited to announce our first six project templates are now available in Optimal Workshop! We understand that not everyone knows where to start with customer research, so these ready-made templates have been created with UX industry experts to give you the confidence to quickly launch studies and get the results you need to make data-driven decisions.  

Templates aren’t only a great solution for people who need guidance with which study type to use and when; our detailed templates also give you the tools to develop your IA thinking, compare the performance of studies over time, and get detailed project plans to guide you through your information architecture. 

How do templates work?

On the dashboard, you’ll see a new button called Browse Templates. From the templates menu, you can select a template that matches your use case, e.g. ‘I need to organise content into categories’. The templates are a helpful starting point, for you to adapt to suit your research goals. 

Let’s take a look at some of our favourite project templates. 

Organize content into categories

This template helps you design the best categories to organize your information based on how your users think. It’s useful for designing your product, website, or knowledge base experience, as well as re-evaluating any part of it. In this template, we will first conduct an open card sort, and then use that information to design a navigation structure that will be tested on end users.

1. First up run a card sort with OptimalSort

During this study, users will organise all information presented to them into categories they create themselves using an open card sort. This method is great for generating category ideas based on how users process this information allowing you to better design an experience in a more user-focused way. To find out more on how to set up your card sort, refer to our card sorting 101 guide.

2. Test your navigation structure with a Treejack

Based on the groupings that were produced from the card sort, you can now generate a hierarchy for your users to test using Treejack. Users search for the information you’ve categorised and represented as a hierarchy, which is valuable because it helps to confirm whether information placed within your hierarchy is findable and understandable.
To learn more about tree testing, refer to our tree testing 101 guide.

Evaluate an existing navigation experience 

Regularly evaluating an existing navigation experience is a good way to monitor the health and performance of your website and product. This template is useful for both redesigning your experience and for re-evaluating part of it by helping you design ideal categories to organize your information based on how your target users think and improve findability and task completion. 

1. Start by identifying your top tasks using Reframer

Using Reframer, conduct interviews with various stakeholders in your business to evaluate and theme which tasks your organization believes are the most important within your existing environment. This is a solid first step towards building a list of top tasks for testing. Reframer allows you to easily visualize and group your observations by proximity using the affinity map.

2. Survey users to understand their top tasks

Next, survey users to confirm their top tasks and identify any existing issues with our survey tool Questions. This will provide insight into what users believe are their top tasks and whether anything is getting in their way to achieve them. This step helps to ensure all design work is informed by up-to-date user tasks.

3. Design and test your current experience in Treejack  

Using the prioritised top tasks create a tree test using Treejack to test your navigation experience with your users. For example “How would you open a home loan” or “How would you upgrade your broadband plan” This will enable you to see how your users navigate your website in order to achieve the most business critical tasks in your organization. This is a valuable step that helps to identify information and design problems to solve early in the design process. 

More templates from our community

This is just the beginning of templates in Optimal Workshop and while we continue to add value and build up our collection, we’d love your input! If there are templates that you regularly use and think the community could benefit from, let us know at