Schedule Time & Gather Materials
- Time per Task: 4 Hours
- Diagramming software
- Spreadsheet software
- Video or notes from contextual user interviews
Carry Out This Method
- Identify the task (“Open a customer profile.”)
- Describe how the user navigated to your product (opened from icon, linked from another app, etc.)
- Identify any job aids
- Record the steps the user took to achieve their goal and diagram this in a “boxes-and-arrows” flow chart (Because users may have taken multiple paths to fulfill the goal, these will also need to be depicted and prioritized — stakeholders may determine some paths are not critical.)
- Highlight steps that users found problematic.
- Repeat Steps 1-5 for each identified user task.
- Create a spreadsheet with key values (such as task frequency) and work with stakeholders to prioritize the tasks. Highlight tasks that you believe should be investigated for optimization, redesign or removal.
Try These Tips
You may find that there are quite a few steps in completing what appears to be a relatively simple task and be tempted to omit steps. Don’t. It’s important to know all the steps in an information flow to analyze the user experience.
Explore More Resources
- Usability.gov: Task Analysis
- Nielsen Norman Group: Goal Composition: Extending Task Analysis to Predict Things People May Want to Do
- Usability.net: Task analysis
- Interaction Design Foundation: Task Analysis a UX Designer’s Best Friend
- Search Engine Watch: Task Analysis: The Key UX Design Step Everyone Skips