October 1st, 2009

C-Inspector, as the name implies is an online category evaluation tool. The idea is quite simple and the tool works a little something like this. First, the information architect sets up a categorical multilevel sitemap of sorts. The nice thing here is that the categories can be manually adjusted using the online interface, or alternatively a CSV file (Excel?) may be uploaded. Then, the IA can setup a number of tasks which pose a “where would you find x” question. Once a welcome and thank you message is created, the project can be saved to a specific URL. As this URL is then opened by participants it initiates the test. During the test, users aim to identify a correct category which they think might be the appropriate answer for each task. When the test finishes, the IA can then look through an overview screen which shows which tasks where completed with what success rates, number of trials, and timings.

At a $99 monthly subscription, C-Inspector isn’t cheap. The manual category inputing or welcome message setting also aren’t very responsive as the interaction requires quite a few submits and button presses. Aside of the subtly interaction issues, the tool can be a powerful addition to an information architects arsenal.

Be sure to check out the 30 day free trial.

3 Responses to “C-Inspector”

  1. Deb Says:

    I haven't used C-Inspector, but a similar tool Optimal Sort for card-sorting, which comes at a similar prices $109 per month. Optimal Sort lets you run multiple projects on a one-month subscription instead of just the one that C-Inspector allows. They have other subscription rates and they offer discounts to educational and non-profit sectors. I was quite happy with the tool and results.
    They also make other products TreeJack and Chalkmark which have similar features. I used Chalkmark to test our designs remotely with users.

    See http://www.optimalworkshop.com/

  2. Jussi Pasanen Says:

    Hi all,

    we posted an article looking at C-Inspector in a bit more detail last week, including comparisons with Optimal Workshop's Treejack:

    Test your information architecture using C-Inspector

    We also wrote specifically about Treejack back in April:

    Using Treejack to test your website structure

    Both articles discuss screen-based IA testing more generally, too.

    Cheers, Jussi

  3. C-Inspector: Steffen Says:

    Hi Jakob,
    thank you for the article!

    In the last days, I made a few changes and added some new features:

    – New-end user interface when going through the scenarios
    – Analysis: Pie diagrams to visualize results
    – Analysis: Grades for good / bad performances (tasks)

    Have a look at the gallery to see how the new screens look like:

    Just a side note: You pay 99$ for a single study with no time limitation. There a monthly subscriptions for 3 months and for 1 year.