Manual A Guide To Task Analysis: The Task Analysis Working Group

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Marine, L. Min, L. Saraiva, C. Sudhindra, V. Task Analysis, Usability. Apple is a notoriously secretive business. In Steve So why would a graphic designer like you wa Interaction design is an important component within the giant umbrella of user experience UX design. A simple and useful understanding of interaction designInteraction de It can be used to improve an existing service or to create a new service from scratch.

In order to adapt to service design, a UX designer will need to understand the basic principles of service design thinking and be able to focus on Lean UX is an incredibly useful technique when working on projects where the Agile development method is used. The differences between responsive and adaptive design approaches spotlight important options for us as web and app designers. Choosing with insight can empower you to plan and execute your designs with better aim, purpose and results.

With the pervasiveness and diversity of mobile devices, as designers we need to cater to the variety of screen s Many traditional artists still paint their m We all know that wireframing is a great way to test ideas in our UX projects but we also know that there are a ton of wireframing tools available to do it with.

It can be hard to choose the right tool but one of the easiest ways to get an idea — is to get hands on with the tool and have a play with it.


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The wireframing tools in this article are Your browser is outdated. Please switch to a modern web browser to improve performance and avoid security risks. Join our webinar on UX design for AI! Log in Join our community Join us. Open menu. Join us. Preparing to conduct a task analysis process Usability professionals Courage, Redish and Wixon argue that task analysis is an activity based on four core principles: It is an integral part of a broader analysis that includes understanding users and their environments.

Although the focus, methods, granularity, and presentation of information may differ at different times, task analysis is relevant at all stages of the design and development process. The practical reality is that task analysis for a given project depends on many factors.

Task Analysis

Larry Marine, a UX consultant, argues that your user research should focus on collecting the following five types of data, which you will use later during the task analysis phase: Trigger: What prompts users to start their task? Desired Outcome: How users will know when the task is complete? Base Knowledge: What will the users be expected to know when starting the task? Required Knowledge: What the users actually need to know in order to complete the task?

Artifacts: What tools or information do the users utilize during the course of the task? First steps in Conducting a task analysis Armed with the information you gathered during the empathy phase, you can then begin to sketch out how a user goes about his or her daily life by mapping out the sequence of activities required to achieve a goal.

Break this goal high-level task down into subtasks: You should have around 4—8 subtasks after this process. If you have more, then it means that your identified goal is too high-level and possibly too abstract. As Don Norman said, users are notoriously bad at clearly articulating goals: e. Each subtask should be specified in terms of objectives. Put together, these objectives should cover the whole area of interest—i. Draw a layered task diagram of each subtask and ensure it is complete: You can use any notation you like for the diagram, since there is no real standard here.

Larry Marine shares some helpful advice on the notation he uses, which is examined below. Write the story: A diagram is not enough. Many of the nuances, motivations and reasons behind each action are simply lost in the diagram, because all that does is to depict the actions and not the reasons behind them. Make sure you accompany your diagram with a full narrative that focuses on the whys. This person can be another team member working on the same project, but you could also enlist the help of actual users and stakeholders for this purpose. Goal: 1. Open the messaging application on her mobile phone.

Move to the text input field. Check the spelling because it needs to be precise for the system to accept it.

A Guide To Task Analysis

Exit the messaging application. Identifying these cognitive aspects allows for more comprehensive, accurate, and effective formative evaluations, implementation planning and troubleshooting, and knowledge transfer such as training and scaling up best practices. Although these processes are conceptually distinct from one another, they interact in all clinical routines and organizational change efforts that require thinking. Although CTA is an applied method designed to study macrocognition that is, cognition in realworld contexts , it is informed by laboratory-based research on cognition.

It is designed primarily to study thinking processes and structures, not to evaluate outcomes. That said, CTA can easily be combined with outcome-focused quantitative techniques using mixed methods. CTA methods have been used successfully for several decades in a wide range of settings requiring high reliability, such as military and civil aviation, air traffic control, naval ship command, nuclear power plant operation, and firefighting, but have only recently been used in health care Crandall and Calderwood, ; Dominguez, Hutton, Flach, et al.

CTA comprises a wide range of qualitative techniques from disparate disciplines that have been adapted to the study of macrocognition. In fact, many researchers and practitioners do forms of CTA without calling it that. The advantage of drawing on CTA explicitly, however, is that the literature on what has been done in the past can help researchers more systematically and effectively choose and adapt methods to address their own research questions.

Regardless of the technique used, CTA consists of three main steps: 1 knowledge elicitation, 2 data analysis, and 3 knowledge representation Crandall, Klein, and Hoffman, The choice of which method s to use to elicit the knowledge, conduct the analysis, and represent results depends upon the questions being asked, the context in which they are being asked, and the objectives of the project. Broadly speaking, CTA can be used to better understand the macrocognition in any clinical or organizational task, how and when it occurs, where it occurs, who is involved, and how technology and artifacts such as forms, emails, logs, and patient charts are or can be involved.

Although we will focus on describing CTA methods that are suited to understanding and improving the typical types of organizational and clinical routines in a PCMH, additional CTA methods do exist should the reader wish to investigate the macrocognition of uncommon, critical events related to PCMH models Crandall, Klein, and Hoffman, In this section, we describe three commonly used CTA techniques, give examples, and discuss how they might benefit implementation studies of PCMH transformation projects and dissemination of successful approaches.

ISBN 13: 9780748400584

All three techniques can be used when conducting on-site research. The goal of constructing a Task Diagram is to capture one or more aspects of macrocognition involved in a routine task. Building a Task Diagram involves getting a rich, multi-perspective description of the task by interviewing the range of people involved in it. In the first pass, the interviewer asks the interviewee such as a physician, patient, or other practice staff to break the task into four to seven large steps.

In subsequent passes, the interviewer uses predefined but open-ended probes, guided by psychological and organizational theory, to elicit the macrocognitive processes within and between those steps. For example, CTA analysts might try to uncover: 1 the step s in which the most challenging decisions were made, 2 what made those decisions difficult, 3 what information was needed to make the critical decisions, 4 who needed the information, 5 how that information was obtained and transmitted, 6 what went wrong or fell through the cracks and why, and 7 how the team detected failures and problems in the task.

They are then asked to keep that instance in mind when answering questions.


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Once that instance is described, the interviewer shifts the focus and tries to identify naturally occurring variations in the task. Great care is taken to guide the interviewees away from general or decontextualized task descriptions. As the interviewer collects different interviewee perspectives on the task, the interviewer begins to develop a more complete and richer sense of the task and the characteristics of its macrocognitive dynamics. In the end, the Task Diagram method produces a depiction of the physical work flow with some of its critical macrocognitive processes uncovered and described.

The result can be shown to members of the organization, who are often surprised at how accurate and informative it is. It can also be used as the basis for process redesign, or to identify areas warranting deeper investigation using other CTA methods. Christensen, Fetters, and Green conducted Task Diagram interviews with experienced family physicians to understand the range of ways in which they structured visits, focusing on when computerized reminders for preventive and chronic disease management services could be inserted into the work flow.

They discovered clear patterns in how physicians structured patient visits, which helped pinpoint stages at which reminders would be helpful, rather than disruptive. As another example, Shachak, Hadas-Dayagi, Ziv, et al. They focused on the benefits, errors, and patient communication problems associated with EMR use, and the role of physician EMR expertise in overcoming those communication problems. On the one hand, they found that physicians felt the EMR helped their decisionmaking, and thus improved patient care and safety, by making patient information more comprehensive, organized, and readable, and including decision aids and warnings of adverse drug interactions.

Finally, they found that certain computer skills and spatial organization of offices helped physicians overcome some EMR-related patient communication barriers.

A Guide To Task Analysis: The Task Analysis Working Group - CRC Press Book

Implementing PCMH functions in a practice requires improving clinical and organizational routines, and key aspects of those routines are macrocognitive in nature. We found great variation in how practices were approaching change implementation, but none had any change or implementation routines per se. They varied widely in their ability to engage in sensemaking, planning, communication, problem detection, and replanning. The objective of Concept Mapping is to understand and graphically depict how ideas that is, concepts on a given topic are related. In CTA, Concept Mapping has traditionally been used to map the mental models of experts on critical tasks.

Taken together, these account for how well and consistently they perform both routine and exceptionally challenging tasks. For practical purposes, topics typically address: 1 how some category of things is organized, 2 how a system works, or 3 how to perform some task properly. The first type of mental model tends to be typological, whereas the latter two tend to have sequential and causal links.

Models can vary in a number of ways, including their completeness, their internal consistency, their sophistication, and their ability to account for phenomena. For example, consider how differently the mechanisms of diabetes are understood by a molecular biologist, a family physician, a diabetic educator, and a patient. In contrast, effective planning in American military culture aims to reduce the need to make decisions in the field by working through various contingencies ahead of time.

These findings were used to improve joint British-American military planning operations. Providers and staff inevitably identify with different personal, professional, and organizational cultures. This means that, for a PCMH model to succeed, it is important to identify and address important tacit differences in their mental models of such organizational and clinical functions as planning, coordination, cooperation, remuneration, disease management, self-management, and even what it means to be a PCMH see Hoff, As demonstrated in the example of military planning, cultural mental models need not be identical for coordination to succeed.

However, understanding differences in mental models, as well as the effect of these differences on social interactions, helps one calibrate and reorganize complex interactions so that they are more effective. The KA was developed using insights from the literature on expert-novice differences in decisionmaking Ericsson and Smith, , and is designed to probe for macrocognition functions in routine knowledge work. The TKA focuses on identifying the specifics of how members of a team carry out macrocognitive functions, rather than on how they understand them that is, team mental models , as would be revealed by the Concept Mapping method.

TKA uses mainly semi-structured interviews, but commonly includes observations of team interactions and analyses of forms, logs, patient charts, and other artifacts. Each interview begins with a set of probe questions that are structured to elicit the tacit knowledge of the team. Multiple team members are interviewed independently to elicit both distributed and dispersed knowledge and distinguish the two.