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Four hierarchy browsers were compared in a counterbalanced repeated measures study with 32 test users. The four browsers tested were in-house implementations of 1) a Windows Explorer style tree view, 2) an information pyramids browser, 3) a treemap browser, and 4 ) a hyperbolic browser. Each user performed eight tasks with each browser. Task completion time, subjective ratings, and overall preference data were collected. Almost no significant differences in performance were found, but users significantly preferred the tree view browser. The four browsers are implemented as part of the hierarchical visualisation system (HVS), a Java framework for visualising hierarchies. The hierarchical visualisation testing environment (HVTE) is a semi-automated testing environment built on top of HVS, which presents a sequence of tasks from a test case database to the user, together with an associated browser and test hierarchy, and automates the collection of timing data.