The VS 2010 architecture tools look quite nice, unfortunately the MSDN subscription structure put these tools outside of reach! In our company teams member all wear multiple hats e.g. architects, developers, and tester. We cannot afford MSDN Team Suite for all our team member. PLEASE change the structure of MSDN Team to a SINGLE edition!!! Give these tools to all the developers & architects who make your windows platform shine!!
Recently, Optimal Workshop, the creators of the online, card-sorting tool Optimal Sort, released two new information architecture evaluation tools: Chalkmark and Treejack. Though these tools are not perfect, they do provide the ability to quickly and easily test early designs and information hierarchies with large numbers of participants.
Chalkmark is ideal for testing wireframes and early design concepts. Because each test task involves clicking a static screenshot, the only information Chalkmark captures is the participants!’ clicks on a single screen. While you can use closed card-sorting tools and tree-testing tools like Treejack to test an information hierarchy in isolation, Chalkmark lets you evaluate an information architecture within the context of a page design.
Like most usability professionals, those of us at my company, Electronic Ink, are usually on the lookout for new ways of evaluating information architectures and other user experiences quickly and inexpensively. Chalkmark and Treejack fit the bill, with easy-to-use and inexpensive tools that let you gather extra user feedback and evaluate information architectures during your design process.