SGT User Interface
Sub Goal Template Application for Task Analysis
Task analysis is the description of goal directed actions taken by a user. These actions have a clear sequence and describe the possible combinations of actions in which the overall goal may be achieved. It is accepted that there are constraints placed upon the user in achieving these goals. The process involves the redefinition or decomposition of higher-level tasks into a sequence of simpler lower level tasks. The focus of this user interface is the he SGT scheme which was developed by Ormerod and Shepherd (1998) and is a variation of the HTA notation. The SGT notation is ideal for eliciting information and system requirements and has been proven effective and usable in this goal (Richardson, Ormerod & Shepherd, 1998.) In addition, it is both device-independent and data-centered making it an ideal approach for informing the design of a system's user interface.
”Task analysis is potentially the most powerful method available to those working in HCI and has applications through all stages of systems development, from early requirements specification through to final system evaluation"
Task analysis has enormous potential to assist designers and developers in delivering human centred systems, however, a major limitation is its lack of tool support in constructing and refining the analysis. While there are tools widely available they are often rudimentary and not suitable for real world use. Consequently, the adoption of task analysis in software development has been constrained significantly by the lack of tools while would support it effective development and use (Paterno, 2002).
This work was completed during my master in Lancaster, with Prof. Tom Ormerod and continued into the first year of my PhD in DCU. This research effort was designed to build a working research prototype to facilitate future investigations into the use of SGT, and more generally task analysis in system design projects and the extent to which it would support the injection of human factors considerations at the early stages of system design and development. As part of this effort, a survey of task analysis tools was made, user and functional needs drawn up, wireframing and low fidelity prototyping was conducted. Following this a research prototype system - a web delivered application built with Adobe Flex - was produced.