How to Perform Task Analysis

Task analysis comes in varying models. While they may vary in regard to the kind of task being analyzed, the end results in most cases depict the same results. The analysis helps determine the task ahead and its effectiveness to its applicants and as well as its ability to deliver in accordance to the needs of the user. Subjects in this case therefore are the ordinary users who are observed in their performance and daily operations in the task in question. On simple perspective, this may be considered as an observation of ordinary users and how they go about in the performance of their chores.

Performing Task Analysis

Why is task analysis important?

The importance of the analysis is to ensure that various questions regarding the task at hand. It helps identify what the actual goals of the task and what they are particularly required to achieve. It also takes an insight into what the users of the task stand to gain from the same. When the regard for the users is made, consideration for the user experiences in regard to social, personal and cultural aspects is also put into consideration. It is important to take consideration of the fact that the environment within which the task is undertaken has direct influence on the user experience and as such a fact that cannot surpass the eye of the analyzer. This will look on to how much knowledge and experience the user has on the task both at present and in previous times.

What is the ideal time to undertake the analysis?

Undertaking task analysis is a process that should be continuous. However, it is more ideal when it is undertaken early enough before the design of the task is done. This is important to allow time and other important aspects to be put in to place in regard the various designs that maybe required. In this regard, it is at this juncture that requirement gathering is conducted as well as developing the content strategy and structure. Usability is one of the key factors that require to be achieved. For this reason, carrying out the analysis also seeks out to take an insight on how usable is the task in question.

What types of analysis are available?

There are many types of analysis that can be undertaken to achieve the desired results. This mainly depends on the extent of the analysis required and for this reason, it is always important to choose the most appropriate one. Among the most common methods includes

  •  Cognitive task analysis that takes a deep look into understanding of the tasks in question in regard to decision-making, problem solving and judgment on various issues that may arise. This may involve manual tasks and other operations that maybe undertaken by the organization.
  • Hierarchical analysis that involves description and devolving of various structures within the organization. This takes a deep look into the goals, operations and plans that are in place or those that require to be put in place.

Requirements of an ideal analysis

An ideal form of the analysis requires to meet various conditions. These are conditions that are in place to ensure that is effective. This include among others:

  • Having in place effective tools to ensure an effective analysis is conducting in the required environment.
  • It should have in place performance measures that will enable determining the effectiveness of the analysis and its ability to produce credible results.
  • Be one that is able to stand high on the standard scale that is in its usability and generation of results.

Process of Conducting an Analysis

An effective task analysis normally undertakes various levels of inquiry. These maybe of general or specific purposes and this as well takes form of the purpose for which it is undertaken. Among the most common types of research that can be undertaken, include market research analysis, competitive analysis, and web metric analysis among others.

While the formality used to carry out the analysis may vary, there are some of the common guidelines that are essential for any extent of the analysis. This includes the following steps:

  •  Identification of the tasks to be analyzed
  •  Breaking town the task into subtasks. These provide simpler units that can be easily analyzed. The subtasks created on this task normally depends on the extent of the analysis required and may vary from four to eight
  • Create a multi-layered diagram for each of the sub –tasks to ensure that each of them is adequately and comprehensively covered
  • Produce a written comprehensive outline of the multi-layered diagram. This should contain the methods that require to be used as well as reasons and expectations of the methods in place
  • Seek for second party opinions from a qualified and competent individual. This should be one who has not taken part in its creation but has adequate knowledge to ascertain its consistency.

Who can undertake the analysis?

In order to undertake an effective analysis, there is need to ensure that the person undertaking the process has adequate knowledge of the systems required. For this reason, knowledge of analytical methods is important. This may require that the person be trained in an institution of higher learning. The subjects that will be present in as the process is being undertaken also require to be trained accordingly on the required measures and practices that they must have in place to ensure the process is effective.

Conclusion

In designing analysis for any particular task, it is important to ensure that there is a clear platform for it to be undertaken. This will include among other factors ensuring that there is effective measures in place to ensure a perfect process is undertaken. This includes creating the appropriate grounds for the process and as well choosing an effective analysis method. This will not only ensure that there will be adequate results from the analysis that depict the actual position of the task in question but will also provide a platform for better decision making as well as designing of the task. It is important therefore to ensure that a proper task analysis is in place and as well effected by knowledgeable and effective personnel.

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Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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