N341 Analysis Chapter 3
WD1 discussed and presented an example for determining the goal of the Web site and getting to know the site users. Analysis involves identifying the user tasks and a recognizable organization. The goal of analysis is to provide insight into the Web site structure (which page links to another to achieve the desired workflow) and page organization (how to organize pages to fit the user's mental model).
Much of the following discussion is based on the project, the stock trading Web site.
Goals - The first step is to determine the user goals, what do they hope to achieve in using your Web site.
What is the user goal of a stock trading Web site?
Tasks are the mechanisms people use to accomplish goals. Such things as registering for a class is a task used to accomplish in completing a degree.
What are two tasks for stock trading?
Actions are subcomponents of tasks. Tasks are high-level descriptions, while actions are the individual steps that comprise a task.
Break down one task into actions (steps).
There are a number of common approaches to task analysis. A few are:
Consider how the goal of buying an airline ticket is achieved below.
Most of these steps could be broken down further, such as number 3 could include checking a calendar, determining the airport, etc.
Alternatively, a flowchart can express the same information.
The advantage of the list is that it can be easily changed as compared to the flowchart.
A disadvantage of the list is that it does not illustrate decisions very well.
List a part of the workflow for a new user to open an account and purchase a stock. Include the receptionist and stock broker.
Give the job analysis for a new user, that is, to open an account and purchase a stock.
Give some of the task details for a new user to open an account.
Purchasing an airline ticket seems to have only one path but, suppose you'd like a hotel and car at the destination or multi-stop ticket.
Can the task details for a new user to open an account be arranged several different valid sequences?
What is the most logical? For example, when should credit card information be provided?
The following breaks down into a hierarchy of tasks and subtasks the user task of buying an airline ticket. The task hierarchy provides insight for page links that define the web site structure.
Draw the task hierarchy to perform the top-level user task of opening an account.
Give a procedural analysis of the user task of opening an account.
Answers question of how good does the user interface need to be; these fall into two categories:
- Performance measures - Directly observable and quantifiable such as time to complete task and number of errors.
For example: Ticket purchases should be completed in 15 minutes with an error rate of 1%.
- Preference measures - Based on user opinion about the user interface, not directly observable. Include such opinions as ease of use and appearance. Typical questionnaire measures opinion scaled from strongly agree to strongly disagree to some aspect of the user interface.
For example: Is the placement and purpose of the Submit button obvious?