UX Power Up: Task Magnifier


Task oriented design is a powerful approach. Designing around the most important task on a page helps magnify a users attention to that key area of the screen. What does that look like for your site or app?

In this week’s UX Power Up, Frank walks us through the single biggest technique of Task oriented design and how it impacts usability. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Transcript of video above…

Task Magnifier

Frank Spillers, founder of Experience Dynamics.  It’s time for this week’s UX Power Up. Today, we’re looking at the topic of tasks and we’re going to explore a technique called the Task Magnifier.

One of the common approaches that user experience professionals take when they design a website or web application or product – is to focus on the user’s task. So, the task magnifier is a way for you to do that on a page.  I’m going to show you two examples, one bad and one good, of how the task magnifier works.

Let’s say you have some content on a website… and you have a bunch of tasks, those are things that users can do on a website.   The common way to display that is to layout all the tasks – equally, with the same weighting, same priority on the page.  The problem is that when users scan this page, because everything is an equal priority, they have to look at everything and read everything as they go through the page.  Not good, and not task oriented. 

So, the task magnifier is about taking the most important task that the user is going to do. That’s usually tied to your value proposition to what’s important to the user on the page.

The task magnifier might look more like this – where the first thing that they do is the big button, or a very large area that they can pay attention to, with the tasks underneath.

So in essence, what we’re doing is we’re magnifying the most important tasks so the users can see it straightaway, get it straight away, and have the have the highest incidence of success.

The task magnifier is one of the most commonly and frequently used techniques that we use in a task oriented approach when we design for good user experience.

So, next time you come to layout a page…Think about how you are going to magnify your task and use the task magnifier, to bring imbalance – if you will – but better organization and attention for the user to get to that important task they need to do on your site.

Thanks so much and we’ll see you next time! Take care.

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