Activity Diagrams and Task Analysis

Product designers have tools they use to define activities, tasks, actions, and operations such as activity diagrams, wireframes, and prototypes. Activity diagrams divide the activities into tasks needed to complete the user’s objective. A task is a unit of work. The task itself may be a single step in the process or multiple steps or … Read more

Define Who, Why, What, and How: Roles, Goals, Scenarios, and Activities

The product manager must have a concise vision for the product they can clearly articulate to the product designers. Put the customers and users activities in context of the market problem the solution is solving. Markets are made up of segments. We must be able to define our market segmentations in terms of their needs … Read more

Understanding Customer Activities

Dr. Donald Norman has suggested a hierarchical structure of activities, tasks, actions, and operations to better understand our customers’ interactions with solutions. In this model, activities are comprised of tasks, which are comprised of actions, and actions are made up of operations. This “activity centered” philosophy is focused on the activity—not the person.  If a … Read more

Don’t Listen to your Customers!

OK, that got your attention… Sometimes the best way to satisfy a customer’s need is to ignore their suggestions. Customers have ideas about incremental improvements to their workflow, but if we develop something that is truly innovative, our ideas probably won’t make sense to existing customers. Sometimes when we solve a market problem, our solution … Read more