Sunday, December 04, 2005

Task Analysis : In Simple Terms

Methods of analyzing people's jobs:
---> what people do
---> includes requirements, actions, results, equipment & materials
---> what they must know

Who conducts Task analysis? Used by Information architects and interface developers to get "outside the box" and focusing on underlying operational problems to solve, rather than implementation problems.

Why Task analysis? A thorough task analysis is essential to preventing workflow design errors that could be very costly to repair later in your development cycle.

Advantages:
  • Provides gap analysis of your user's needs against the services your business provides.
  • Help you consider the architecture from new perspectives, ultimately making a superior experience for the end users and making the design team and stakeholders more confident in their design.

Disadvantages:

  • Unfortunately, a task analysis of users' current activities is not sufficient to predict what they will do in the future. It is well known that people's use of computers change over time and that new and unexpected uses are found for most new systems

Output:

  • Leads to "mental model" visualizations that clearly depict how audiences approach their work.
  • Develop and present recommendations for changes to the Product/Application

Feel free to send your thoughts to muthukumar(at)thedfactor.com

References:
useit.com (Goal composition)
adaptivepath.com(Task analysis and Goal mapping)

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