Site map outlined in wood

Task Analysis

Task Analysis is a method for identifying and prioritizing activities that users want to perform with a product to achieve their goals. Task Analysis is best performed early in the design process after Ethnography has been performed and the designer has been able to observe a user performing all of the required tasks. A Task Analysis can be viewed as an audit of the current state of a product and its information flows.

In addition to the steps required to complete a task, other measures, such as the frequency, complexity and time expended, should be recorded as part of the analysis. Never forget that a Task Analysis is performed from the perspective of a user. Their mental state, attitudes, aptitudes and needs to be kept in mind throughout the analysis. That’s why videotaping a user performing tasks may reveal insights that could be missed by observation only.

Category:
Description

Schedule Time & Gather Materials

Clock Icon

Schedule Time:

  • Time per Task: 4 Hours
Gather Materials

Gather Materials:

  • Diagramming software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Video or notes from contextual user interviews

Carry Out This Method

  1. Identify the task (“Open a customer profile.”)
  2. Describe how the user navigated to your product (opened from icon, linked from another app, etc.)
  3. Identify any job aids
  4. 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.)
  5. Highlight steps that users found problematic.
  6. Repeat Steps 1-5 for each identified user task.
  7. 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

Shipping & Delivery

Vestibulum curae torquent diam diam commodo parturient penatibus nunc dui adipiscing convallis bulum parturient suspendisse parturient a.Parturient in parturient scelerisque nibh lectus quam a natoque adipiscing a vestibulum hendrerit et pharetra fames.Consequat net

Vestibulum parturient suspendisse parturient a.Parturient in parturient scelerisque nibh lectus quam a natoque adipiscing a vestibulum hendrerit et pharetra fames.Consequat netus.

Scelerisque adipiscing bibendum sem vestibulum et in a a a purus lectus faucibus lobortis tincidunt purus lectus nisl class eros.Condimentum a et ullamcorper dictumst mus et tristique elementum nam inceptos hac vestibulum amet elit