Bill Manaris : Fall 2012 / CSIS 672 Homework 3

Assigned Date: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012
Due Date: Monday, Oct. 22, 2012
Due Time: 5pm

Last modified on October 16, 2012, at 10:08 AM (see updates)

This is a team assignment (i.e., you may work with two or three partners). You may discuss the assignment only with your partner(s) or the instructor.


Develop and refine a task hierarchy (i.e., hierarchical task analysis), for a particular user audience and application.


Given the application that you and your teammates have selected to work on, identity the following:

  1. User audience - the target audience for your application.
  2. User goal - the goal the user is trying to achieve (e.g., "I want to swing like a pro"). As discussed in class, a user goal is independent of a particular device (or application). You hope the user will choose to achieve this goal through the application you are developing (if you do your job well).
  3. Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) - identify main tasks (4-8 or so), and subdivide them into subtasks (4-8 or so, per higher task). Continue the analysis until you reach actions (low-level tasks which require no problem solving). Specify plans associated with each task, when necessary. Use the examples / guidelines provided in class to guide you.


Submit a PDF document via OAKS, by the due date. This should include:

  1. A cover page with your names, class, assignment #, date, etc.
  2. A summary description of your user target audience (this should be based on the user profiles you developed earlier - see textbook). Upon reading your description, one should have a good grasp of the types of people (e.g., their backgrounds, age groups, interests, goals, motivations, tolerances, etc.) you are addressing.
    • Feel free to include three examples of user profiles (with photos).
  3. Your HTA deliverable. You may use an HTA diagram or textual description. Plans should be identified on the handout (possibly on a separate page), as per examples.

Also, bring your task hierarchy to class written on Post-it (sticky) notes - one task per note. Bring extra (blank) sticky notes.


During class, be prepared to describe your user audience, and to present your HTA.

Also be prepared to engage in evaluation and iterative refinement of yours and your classmates HTA deliverables. You should expect (and hope) your HTAs to improve through user (i.e., classmate, instructor) feedback.

In addition to the quality of your submitted work, your grade will depend on your ability to utilize "user" feedback to extend and refine your analysis, during class.

Our goal is to understand user tasks as best as we can before we begin developing the user interface.

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