Intro on Task-oriented Information Architecture

I’ve been looking for some online articles to read up on task-oriented IA for a project, and haven’t found many.

The first blog post I saw, and that have been linked by others, was Michael Andrew’s short introspective entry about it. Here he says:

When experimenting with task-oriented IA, here are some issues to keep in mind:

  • Activity structure. Are tasks batched around a group of items, or around a sequence of events? Interestingly, the same mix of objects and processes may be done in different ways, depending on who is doing the work, and what the context is. How a customer representative processes a form will be different depending if the customer dropped in his local branch to deliver it, or whether it was mailed in and is sitting on a stack with other people’s forms.
  • Inputs. How is information received and entered? Does it come in a clump, or in dribbles? Are inputs calendar-driven, so you can predict when you will receive them, or can they arrive at any time?
  • Time dimension. Are tasks done in parallel on the same timeline, or do they go on divergent timelines? Are sequences of activities fixed or flexible? Sometimes activities start at the same time, and get processes concurrently, though the services themselves involve different durations.

Some other interesting reads:

Task-Oriented and Modular Design: The solution to improving the quality and efficiency of documentation

Task Analysis: Topic-Based Writing in DITA


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