User and Task Analysis for Interface Design

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JoAnn T. Hackos and Janice (Ginny) Redish
1998 / 448 pages
Cloth only: 0-471-17831-4

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What it's about

User and Task Analysis for Interface Design helps you design a great user interface by focusing on the first step in the process—getting out to see and understand your users, the work they do, and the environments in which they work.

Whether you are developing products for employees of your company, for client companies, or for consumers, you'll find the techniques in User and Task Analysis for Interface Design to be useful and usable. You'll learn

  • why understanding users, their tasks, and their environments is critical to successful products
  • how to arrange to visit and observe users at their work or in their homes
  • what to plan for and how to prepare and set up site visits
  • what to look for so you'll have useful information for interface design
  • what questions to ask and what questions to avoid
  • how to listen to what users are really telling you

This very practical guide not only helps you collect the data you need, it helps you make sense of what you find and turn useful data into usable designs. You'll learn

  • a variety of techniques for reporting and using what you've learned
  • how to move from data to design
  • ways of creating paper prototypes of interface designs
  • how to conduct usability tests with your prototypes to see if you are on the right track

User and Task Analysis for Interface Design includes numerous examples and stories of design successes and challenges for products in many different situations. The examples and stories—and the techniques—will help you build hardware, software, documentation, and training that makes both your company and your users successful and happy.


Table of Contents


  1. Introducing User and Task Analysis for Interface Design
  2. Understanding The Context Of User And Task Analysis
  3. Thinking About Users
  4. Thinking About Tasks
  5. Thinking About the Users' Environment
  6. Making the Business Case for Site Visits
  7. Getting Ready For Site Visits
  8. Selecting Techniques
  9. Setting Up Site Visits
  10. Preparing for the Site Visits
  11. Conducting The Site Visits
  12. Conducting the Site Visit - Honing Your Observation Skills
  13. Conducting the Site Visit - Honing Your Interviewing Skills
  14. Making The Transition From Analysis To Design
  15. Analyzing and Presenting the Data You Have Collected
  16. Working toward the Interface Design
  17. Prototyping the Interface Design
  18. User and Task Analysis for Documentation and Training


Appendix A: Template For A Site Visit Plan

Appendix B: Resources

Appendix C: Guidelines For User-Interface Design