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User and Task Analysis for Interface Design

ISBN: 978-0-471-17831-6
512 pages
February 1998
User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (0471178314) cover image

Description

"Hackos and Redish wisely offer us the three things we most need about user and task analysis: practical advice, practical advice, and practical advice." -Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland

"This book is well written, thorough, and loaded with techniques, examples, and resources that bring analysis to everyone." -Marcia L. Conner, Director of Usability & Learnability PeopleSoft, Inc.

User and Task Analysis for Interface Design helps you design a great user interface by focusing on the most important step in the process -the first one. You learn to go out and observe your users at work, whether they are employees of your company or people in customer organizations. You learn to find out what your users really need, not by asking them what they want, but by going through a process of understanding what they are trying to accomplish.

JoAnn Hackos and Janice (Ginny) Redish, internationally known experts in usable design, take you through a step-by-step process to conduct a user and task analysis. You learn:
* How interface designers use user and task analysis to build successful interfaces
* Why knowledge of users, their tasks, and their environments is critical to successful design
* How to prepare and set up your site visits
* How to select and train your user and task analysis team
* What observations to make, questions to ask, and questions to avoid
* How to record and report what you have learned to your development team members
* How to turn the information you've gathered into design ideas
* How to create paper prototypes of your interface design
* How to conduct usability tests with your prototypes to find out if you're on the right track.

This book includes many examples of design successes and challenges for products of every kind.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

About the book xiv

Acknowledgments xviii

Chapter 1: Introducing User and Task Analysis for Interface Design 1

PART 1: UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXT OF USER AND TASK ANALYSIS 21

Chapter 2: Thinking about Users 23

Chapter 3: Thinking about Tasks 51

Chapter 4: Thinking about the Users' Environment 91

Chapter 5: Making the Business Case for Site Visits 111

PART 2: GETTING READY FOR SITE VISITS 127

Chapter 6: Selecting Techniques 129

Chapter 7: Setting Up Site Visits 155

Chapter 8: Preparing for the Site Visits 193

PART 3: CONDUCTING THE SITE VISIT 241

Chapter 9: Conducting the Site Visit—Honing Your Observation Skills 243

Chapter 10: Conducting the Site Visit—Honing Your Interviewing Skills 273

PART 4: MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM ANALYSIS TO DESIGN 295

Chapter 11: Analyzing and Presenting the Data You Have Collected 299

Chapter 12: Working Toward the Interface Design 345

Chapter 13: Prototyping the Interface Design 375

Chapter 14: User and Task Analysis for Documentation and Training 405

Bibliography 439

Appendix A: Template for a Site Visit Plan 447

Appendix B: Resources 455

Appendix C: Guidelines for User-Interface Design 457

Index 479

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Author Information

JoAnn T. Hackos is president of Comtech Services, a design consulting firm that specializes in assisting companies to understand their users, design their products and information, conduct usability tests, and manage development projects.

Janice (Ginny) C. Redish is president of Redish & Associates, Inc. Ginny helps companies with user and task analysis, usability assessments, interface and information design, and building usability into software and documentation processes.

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