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When a usability test is not the answer

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1 Author(s)
Potosnak, K. ; Ashton-Tate, South San Jose, CA, USA

The author makes the point that a usability test does not tell you if something has been left out of a software interface (e.g., from a menu). She proposes instead task analysis, which is a generic name for a set of observational techniques in which one studies the tasks people have created for themselves. Task-analysis data are very useful for determining the functions a system should provide, how the functions should be implemented, typical task times and error rates which help set measurable objectives for improving task performance, and whether a system is used successfully in an operational environment. Planning, conducting the study, analyzing the data, and choosing the right method are discussed.<>

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

July 1989

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