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Glossary » task analysis

task analysis

a set of methods for decomposing people’s tasks in order to understand the procedures better and to help provide computer support for those tasks. The basic approach is to define the task and the goal of the task and then to list the steps involved. The level of detail in decomposing the steps is determined by how the analysis is going to be used.

Task analyses are useful for making time predictions for how long a task will take and for spotting potential errors (steps in the process which are extremely difficult or confusing). Task analyses are also good for spotting areas in a user interface that may have been overlooked or oversimplified. A task analysis is a fundamental part of a cognitive model of user performance, such as GOMS.