image of a dog teaching an owl speaking

Picture taken from A List Apart

I came across a great article last week on A List Apart about explaining UX Research in plain English. For UX professionals, we are so used to speak terms like “Contextual Inquiry,” “Task Analysis,” “Paper Prototyping,” etc. They are terminologies that are not intuitive to our clients or people in other disciplines. Sometimes they may have an idea of what we mean but not really. The article gives a handy cheat sheet that we can explain these terms in plain English and establish a clear understanding between us and our clients. Moreover, it highlights the business value of the activity. For example:

Task analysis

What it is in plain English: Observing how people take part in an activity, and then examining what they are thinking and what they are doing as they complete each task, step by step.

Real-world example: A health-care company wants you to improve their claims-processing system. You observe their employees as they use the software to process claims. Then, you go through the process yourself, documenting each step required to fulfill every task. From that analysis, you make recommendations to streamline or improve the process.

Business value: By conducting a task analysis to break down how customers use the website or application, and then using that information for process improvement, you can increase the number of site transactions and create operational efficiencies that save money.

Task analysis provides input into: Personas, user flows, wireframes, navigation schema, the use case / requirements document, the content map, and the site map.

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