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Monday, February 14, 2011

Interface Analysis - Task Analysis and Modeling

The goals of task analysis :

- what work will the user perform in specific circumstances?
The use case is developed to show how an end-user performs some specific work related task. The use case provides a basic description of one important task for the computer aided design systems. The software engineer extracts tasks, objects and overall flow of interaction.

- what tasks and sub tasks will be performed as the user does the work?
It is a mechanism for refining the tasks that are required for the software to accomplish some desired function. Task elaboration is quite useful, but it can also be dangerous. A human engineer must first define and classify tasks.One approach is stepwise elaboration. Each of these major tasks can be elaborated into subtasks. Design model should accommodate each of the task in a way that is consistent with user model and system perception.

- what specific problem domain objects will the user manipulate as work is performed?
The objects that are extracted from the information obtained from the user can be categorized into classes. Attributes of each class are defined, and an evaluation of the actions applied to each object gives a list of operations to designer. Although object elaboration is useful, it should not be used as a standalone approach.

- what is the sequence of work tasks-the workflow?
Workflow analysis allows a software engineer to understand how a work process is completed when several people and roles are involved. Work flow analysis is applied when a number of users, each playing different roles, makes use of a user interface, it is sometimes necessary to go beyond task analysis and object elaboration.

- what is the hierarchy of tasks?
Process of elaboration occurs once the interface is analyzed. Once workflow has been established, a task hierarchy can be defined for each user type. Hierarchy is derived by a stepwise elaboration of each task identified for the user.

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