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Task analysis

Task analysis is a fundamental analytical tool used in human factors that we also apply as part of our user-centred design approach.  Task analysis describes how a given task is accomplished.  The task could be anything, such as using a vending machine, searching a website or driving a train.  
The data necessary to produce a task analysis is derived from various sources including: system functional descriptions, operational procedures, behavioural research, experimentation and user trials, user observation and interviews.  Task analysis typically includes a detailed graphical mapping of the user's physical and cognitive actions, system states (hardware and/or software), information used and decision processes.  
We use the findings in many ways, including:
  • Defining design requirements
  • Designing-out human error 
  • Development of scenarios for user trials and usability testing
  • Assurance in safety critical systems
  • Defining operational procedures 
  • Staff selection criteria 
  • Training requirements 
  • User instructions



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