Task Analysis Example: Sashi Barige


TASK ANALYSIS
Sash Barige
Introduction
	Objectives of this assignment
	Objectives of the task
	System used
	Brief note on Slide Presentation

Description of the task
	Task involved
	Terminology
	Users of the system
	Description of each task

Task Analysis
	Preconditions
	Goals of the task
	Breakdowns
	Postconditions of the task
	Agents
	Objects involved in the task

PseudoCode for the task
	Pseudo code

Task User Table
	Task user table

Task Object Table
	Task object table


Objectives of this assignment:
 To do a task analysis on the task "Preparing slide presentation"  with users being a end user, normal user and expert user.

Objectives of the task:
 To prepare a slide presentation which may contain several slides in sequence with each slide in the presentation  containing text, charts, and/or drawings to convey information to an audience (end user, normal user and expert user).  

System used: 
Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0 is used to analyze the task.  In most of the description given, the specific implementation in the tasks are modified to general terms so as to make it a task independent of the application used.

Brief note on Slide Presentation:
Here presentation is a file containing slides.  Each slide also called page in the presentation uses text, charts, and/or drawings to convey information to an audience.  The presentation must address audience's interests and needs and also consider the le
vel of understanding of the audience.  The objective of the presentation is supported with facts, statements, charts and graphics.  

The tasks involved in a slide presentation :  
Create Template
Define Layout
Create Objects
Insert text
Insert Graphs
Insert Drawings
Print Slides
Revise text
Revise format

Terminology:

Template:  A template is a presentation whose format and color scheme can be used (applied) to another presentation.  The templates contain the attribute default settings which will define how the text look like and where it will appear.  They offer a com
plete color scheme. 

Object: An object is the text, pictures, lines, and shapes that are created or imported into the application.  Objects are created with the text and drawing tools.  

Attribute:  Each feature of an object that can be manipulated to modify the default settings.

Frame:  The line that forms the object is called frame.  For example, the four lines of a rectangle are its frame.  

Layout:  A layout is the way the objects are organized on a slide.  

Transition: A Transition is the way one slide moves off the screen and the next slide moves on.

Build: A build is a slide that shows progressively more information.  For example, on a slide with five bullets, the first view in the slide show would only have the first bullet.  That would be replaced by a view with the first two bullets, then one with
 the first three bullets, and so on.

Linking objects: When objects are copied from other applications and a link is established, the link ensure that if the original of the object is updated, the copy placed in the presentation will automatically be updated when the presentation is opened.

Embedding objects: is storing information inside the presentation that was created using an embedded application.


Users of the system: 
 I am assuming the users of the slide presentation are End User, Normal User and Expert User.

End User:  Someone who views the presentation.  The end user should be able to run the presentation to view the slides and understand what it was meant for.  

Normal User: Someone who prepares presentations to a prescribed format, from the pre-existing slides.  The normal user uses the existing templates and make any necessary changes to objects and texts to satisfy the required objectives.  The normal user is 
also a end user since he too views the presentation.  The normal user normally does not start everything from scratch by creating new style templates.

Expert User: Someone who uses the system to create many kinds of presentations.  The expert user starts creating the slides from scratch creating new templates and inserting the objects.

Description of each task:

Create Template:  Templates are used by both Normal users and expert users.  The normal users make use of the existing templates to prepare a slide.  The expert users  create their own templates to prepare a slide.  The steps involved in creating a templa
te are:
  1. Create a new presentation(template) using a blank presentation and blank layout.
  2. Insert the information on this template.
      or
  1. Create a new presentation(template) using a blank presentation and blank layout.
  2. Open an existing document
  3. Apply the template layout to the above document.


Define Layout:  A layout is the way the objects are organized on a slide.  An object is the text, pictures, lines, and shapes that are created or imported into the application.  Objects are created with the text and drawing tools.  Expert user  frequently
 define layouts by placing objects where it should belong on the slide and sizing objects the way it should look.

Create Objects: An object is the text, pictures, lines, and shapes that are created or imported into the application.  Objects are created with the text and drawing tools.  The steps involved in creating objects are:
Object text:
  1. Insert text in the desired position
  2. Revise the text
  3. Format the text

Object Pictures:
  1. Insert the pictures in the desired position
  2. Resize the picture

Object shapes:
  1. Use the existing autoshapes and insert them at the desired position
  or
  2.  Draw new shapes
  3.  Format the shapes.


Insert text:
The text can be a title of the slide, annotation, body of the slide, object identifiers( object names), etc.  The following steps are followed to insert text.
1.  The desired position in the slide is selected where the text has to be inserted.
2.  The mode is changed to text so as to type in the letters.
3.  The text is revised if necessary
4.  The text is formatted to desired look.
5.  The text block can be moved and/or copied to different places on the slide

Insert Graph:
1.  The graph type(graphing function) like column graph, bar chart, pie chart etc. is selected.
2.  The graph layout is selected 
3.  Then the required data is entered.
4.  The title and other texts can be revised.
5.  The graph can be resized, moved, copied, removed and formatted

Insert Drawing:
The drawing may be predefined shapes or shapes drawn using the drawing tools.  To generalize drawing also includes pictures.
1. Select the predefined shaped required 
or 
1. Draw the new shape using the drawing tools
2. Add any symbols needed.
3.  Resize the shapes if needed.


Print Slides:
1. Click on print icon
2. Select the print options wanted. The print option may be like slides only, slides with speaker notes, handouts for audience etc.
3. Use the default printer or change the default printer to use a different one.
4. Choose the slide range to print all slides, current slide or selected slides.
5. select the number of copies needed.

Revise text:  
1.  Select the position where the text has to be revised.
2.  Modify the text as needed.

Revise Format:
1.  Select the object (text, shapes or picture) to be formatted.
2.  Apply the new format.
 
Preconditions:
1.  To prepare a slide for the normal user, the templates should already exist.
2.  To format an object, the object should be selected first before applying the formats.
3.  To use autoshapes, the required shapes should already exist.
4.  To print a slide or set of slides, the presentation must be open.
5.  To provide transition between slides atleast two slides must exist
6.  To provide build to show progressively more information, more than one information should exist on the slide.
7.  To import objects onto the current slide, the source objects should already exist.
8.  To export objects onto a different slide or document, the source objects should already exist.
9. To create links between the objects in the slide( copied objects from other applications), the other application must support linking.
10.  Embedding objects inside the presentation requires the embedded application to exist.
11. The graphs layouts can only be the predefined ones.

Goals of the task:
The primary goal of the task is to prepare a presentation.  The presentation will have several slides.  Hence each slide has to be prepared.  To prepare the slides several tasks are used.  Each of these tasks can be divided into subtasks.  The description
 of each task is already given above.  The goals of each task and how it is related to the higher-level goals are described here.

Create Template: Since several slides has to be prepared, normally a single (or few) template will be used.  This template can be used for all the slides prepared for the presentation.   Using the template aims at achieving uniformity, consistency and giv
e a good look and feel to the presentation.
 
Define Layouts:  The objects in each slide should have the required layout.  The layout will give a organized way of presentation.  It will give the look and feel, uniformity and distinguishes the different section of objects.  Layout provide a way to cla
ssify the different sections on the slide to make the user understand each individual topic dealt.

Create Objects: The main content of a presentation is the objects.  The objects are the facts, statements, pictures, graphs, logos and other information the presentation is meant for.  The objects should be clearly defined, concise or elaborate (depending
 on the audience), addressing the audience's interests and needs.  There should be a relation between the objects.  Each object should also be related to the presentation.

Insert text, graph, drawing:  These are objects mentioned above which is the core of the presentation.

Print slides:  These is meant for several purposes.  The slides can be printed for proof reading, handouts for audience,  notes for the speaker, for overhead projectors etc  This is also an essential part of the presentation.

Revise text and Revise format:  These tasks are done frequently to modify the text,  change the fonts, change the size etc  These tasks are subtasks to create objects.  Hence these tasks are meant to maintain the objects to represent what it should.  It i
s also used to provide the look and feel to the presentation.  By formatting the objects properly, the users will be able to grasp the information more quickly.

Breakdowns:
The breakdowns are given specific to the application.

1.  Create template:  While creating templates, the expert user will find the following awkward.  The user wants to create a new template.  None of the menus provide such a specific option.  When File-New option is selected several options are provided in
 a dialog box.  When the user selected the blank presentation, a new dialog box is displayed with different layouts .  The user guessed to select a blank layout to get a blank template to design.

2.  Define Layout:  When a blank template is chosen to design the user's choice of layout, there is no option provided to define sections.  But when the predefined layouts are chosen in each layout chosen, there are several sections with a text prompting 
the user to "click to add object".  This way the user can divide the slide into several parts to hold different objects.  These facility dotted lined sections is not provided when a blank template is chosen. 

3.  Create objects: 
  3.a  When using the drawing tools say to create a square or rectangle, the object created will have filled color (blue).  The user changes the fill color to blank.  Then later on when the user creates another drawing still it the fill color (blue).  So 
the user is not provided a way to make this default.  To do this the user has select all slide option and then change the settings.  Whenever the user changes any format, there should be an option to make it default.
 3.b When predefined layouts are chosen, there is no option for the user to change the contents of the sections.  i.e.  there are several sections with a text prompting the user to "click to add object".  The object will be specified e.g  picture, text.  
The user will not be able to change this, say for example the section for picture will have a small bitmap indicating that the section is meant for pictures.  The user cannot override this.

 
Postconditions:
1.  The colors by default are most of the time not as required by the user.  The fill colors are by default set some colors other than blank.  The colors of shadows and other shapes are not set to general requirements.
2. To create a new template, the user has to go through two dialog boxes.
3.  The spell checker starts working from the current cursor position.  After completing the spell check till the end, then the spell checker displays a dialog box asking the whether to start from the beginning.  By default the spell check should start fr
om the beginning as the users normally use it after completing the data entry.
4.  The user is prompted for summary information every time the user saves a new presentation.  This is not required for the user's goal.



Agents:
The people directly involved in the task are (hypothetical)
bank teller, bank manager, bank customer, financial director, bank accountant, bank clerk etc
The agents are:
End user, Normal user and Expert user.

Objects:  
The objects used in this task are already described above.  Since we are not considering a specific task of slide presentation, only some examples of task artifacts are given.  Consider the task to be a slide presentation concerned to a bank.  Here the ta
sk is the "customer transaction" with the bank.  Some of the task artifacts are "customer details from the customer files"  etc.  One of the  critical features of the task "customer transaction" is suppose the account is updated (withdrawal or deposit), t
hen the balance information must also be updated.  There is critical feature include to undo state changes.  But this undo option works only for the latest change made.  


Pseudo code for the task of preparing the slide presentation

task prepare slide presentation {
subtask create template;  //  meant for expert user
while (templates to create)
	subtask define layouts;
while (objects to insert)
	subtask insert text;
	subtask insert drawings;
	subtask insert graphs;
while (slides are error free)
	subtask revise test;
	subtask revise format;
	subtask print slides;
}
}//  end task "prepare slide presentation"


TASK/USER TABLE


Task				End-User		Normal-User		Expert-User

==========================================================
Create template		never			never			often

Define layouts			never			sometimes		often	

Create objects			never			often			often

insert text			never			often			often

insert graph			never			often			often

insert drawing			never			sometimes		often

print slides			often			often			often

revise text			never			often			often

revise format			never			often			often



TASK/OBJECT TABLE

For the task object table, the following objects are considered.
simple slides : In this there are no other objects other than text.
Multipage slide presentation : In this there are several slides with complex objects.  The slides are not classified into chapters.  Here there are may be slides of different templates


Templates : This is the phase where the templates are created. This is meant for an expert user.  The creation of templates involves more of inserting drawings like company logos, inserting text (title or object identifiers) etc.  

Simple slides : In this there are no other objects other than text.  Here there are may be slides of different templates.  Here the layouts may be the existing ones or may be created newly.  The existing layouts may also be modified.


Multichapter:  In this there are several slides with complex objects.  The slides are classified into chapters.  Normally all chapters has similar set of templates used.  


TASK/OBJECT TABLE

task				templates		simple slides		multichapter
				              		(only text)		slides
____________________________________________________________________

create				.50/60			.35/.20			.15/.15
define layouts			.30/.05			.15/.20			.10/.06
insert text			.05/.05			.25/.43			.15/.20
insert graphs			.03/.12			   0/0			.04/.04
insert drawings		.02/.08			   0/0			.05/.06
print 				.01/.01			.10/.04			.06/.05
revise text			.04/.05			.05/.05			.40/.35
revise format			.05/.04			.10/.08			.05/.09





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Last Changed: 26 June 1995