respect logoTask Allocation Charts

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,

Summary Description

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 job roles.

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 be designed.

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.

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