The general term Task Analysis can be applied to a variety of techniques for identifying and understanding the structure, the flow, and the attributes of tasks. Task analysis identifies the actions and cognitive processes required for a user to complete a task or achieve a particular goal.
A detailed task analysis can be conducted to understand the current system and the information flows within it. These information flows are important to the maintenance of the existing system and must be incorporated or substituted in any new system. Task analysis makes it possible to design and allocate tasks appropriately within the new system. The functions to be included within the system and the user interface can then be accurately specified.
Some of the outputs of a task analysis include:
Cognitive task analysis and Hierarchical task analysis are commonly used task analysis techniques. Examples of other task analysis techniques are: Conceptual Task Analysis, GOMS, Timeline Analysis, Tabular Task Analysis, Operator Action Event Trees (OAET), Critical Action and Decision Evaluation Technique (CADET) and LINK Analysis.