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User and Task Analysis

• Requirements Analysis in HCI.

• Perform a comprehensive and systematic analysis of user
task requirements through studying users to understand
needs, expectations, tasks and work process and determine
implications for the interface of this information.
• The characteristics of the intended users/ User profile.
Relevant factors may include the knowledge, skill, experience, education,training,
physical attributes, habits and motor-sensory capabilities for the people concerned.
Where distinctive groups of users exist (such as novices and experts) then their
respective attributes should be identified and taken into account.
• The tasks the users will perform.
• The environment in which the users will use the system
• The Usability Engineering Lifecycle: A Practitioner’s
Handbook for Use Design
available at books
• An example of system analysis:
• User expertise levels
* Novice or first-timer user: may know application domain
but does not know specifics of application
* Intermittent user: uses several systems from time to time,
knows application domains but does not remember
details of different applications
* Frequent user: uses application daily and knows both
application and task domain very well
User Analysis
User Class Characterization
• Set of users with similar characteristics and needs e.g. job description, location,
level of responsibility, computer literacy, application domain knowledge
• Answer following questions for each class:
What is knowledge of computer technology
What is knowledge of application domain
How complex is application content?
Are users discretionary or captive?
Frequency of usage, duty cycle
With whom do users interact
What are training needs
What is user culture
How receptive/resistant to product are users?
Characteristic User Class A User Class B User Class C

Computer knowledge

Domain knowledge

Complexity of domain content

Discretionary or captive?

Usage frequency, duty cycle?

With whom do they interact

(outside system)?

What info is exchanged?


Task Analysis(TA)
• What tasks will users perform with this system e.g.
Calendar Management System.
• Task decomposiiton (subtasks)
• Task Analysis is task structure. Not timing, precedence,
order of task performance, work flow, etc.
• What user can do, not must do.
• Task Analysis iterated
• What developers observe that users need, not what
developers think that users need
Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA)
Example of HTA for Calendar Management System
Usage Scenario
• Scenarios are characterizations of users and their tasks in a
specified context. They offer concrete representations of a
user working with a computer system in order to achieve a
particular goal.
• Reading:
RESPECT 5.3 Handbook, Part C: 4. User Requirements
Usage Scenarios: