Primary Reference Source
Ip, W. K., Damodaran, L., Olphert, C. W., and Maguire, M. C. (1990)
The use of task allocation charts in system design: A critical appraisal.
In D. Diaper, G. Cockton, D. Gilmore, B. Shackel, (Eds), Human-Computer
Interaction - INTERCHI'90, Amsterdam, North-Holland,
A range of task allocation options are established between different users
and the computer system to identify the optimal division of labour to provide
satisfying job and efficient operation of the whole work process.
Typical Application Areas
Most useful for systems which affect whole work processes rather than single
user, single task products.
Counteracts the tendency to try and computerise the whole of a working
system leaving users to carry out the remaining tasks regardless of the
kinds of jobs this produces.
Requires some concept of the new system for users to contribute to the
process and generate new options. Analysts need good understanding of existing
Cost of Use
Resources required fairly small. Requires input from people with knowledge
of different user types in existing work process.
Costs of acquisition
Compulsory training is not specified although the method may require some
degree of practice in order to acquire the basic skills.
Suitability for requirements engineering in telematics
Useful for the specification phase of design process when it is possible
to identify the tasks that will be carried out with the application to
Detailed Description of Method
Standard flow chart symbols may be used to represent process, decision
points, system inputs, output, etc. However the actual notation used is
not important and an alternative set of symbols may be used if preferred.
Each work process is identified
For each process, draw up task flow diagram to show existing split of tasks
between users and computers and interactions between them.
Generate at least two charts to show task allocation between user(s) and
computer for the new system.
Comment on the implications for job satisfaction and efficiency for each
Select chart which is most acceptable to the users or generate new charts.