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Start a Task Analysis

One of the first steps, before doing any kind of design work or implementation, is a task and customer analysis.[3] A task analysis will help you understand what your customers do now and how they do it, and it will provide ideas for what your customers could do with your Web site. The key to task analysis is to first identify the target customer population, find people representative of that population, and then find out what they do.

[3] Our use of the term task analysis differs slightly from the traditional definition. We have added customer analysis to this phase. This means you use task analysis to find out about your customers' tasks, as well as to find out who your customer is—that is, to know your customer.

When starting a task analysis, use your intuition and experience, as well as informal interviews with task experts, to answer questions that characterize the target audience. Later you can use other techniques, such as observations, surveys, and evaluation of competitors' Web sites to answer the questions in more detail. If you are revising an existing Web site, you can also evaluate it. Successful design teams often use a combination of these techniques to develop a meaningful understanding of customers and their needs.


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