Scenarios and tasks are tools we will use to test different designs via quantitative analysis or in live sessions with a prototype and real customers.
The scenario is essentially a story that provides additional context to a group of tasks that must be performed to achieved a goal.
These are more specific and describe actions a participant will need to perform using the system. The tasks are required to achieve the goal of a scenario but may be common to many scenarios. When defining tasks it is good to avoid words foreign to the domain and unique names of commands or features a test participant must find. This is done to avoid leading the participant down a path.
Here is an example of a scenario and tasks:
Scenario: Set up a cartoon Set
Sharon, the project manager, has just guided a project through schematic design development. It is now time to get a handle on the documentation requirements and staffing assignments. To begin this effort she identifies a standard set of plans and details as well as specific elements in the design requiring detailed documentation. (enlarged plans, curtain wall sections, details ect..) This will be the digital cartoon set that will become the starting point for the team.
Some related tasks:
- Create and name several series of sheets A0, A2, A3, ect..
- Create a cover sheet with information on the project, team consultants and a list of drawings
- Establish a title block
- Create and name new views
- Compose the drawing sheets
This scenario and its tasks can be used to evaluate existing behavior to establish a benchmark. It can also evaluate potential enhancements to the existing functionality or completely new designs.
We are continually growing and enhancing our internal library. If you are willing to share a particular scenario please do.
This may be a scenario you feel is:
- Unintuitive using existing features
- Encountered very frequently
- Infrequent yet critical to a job
I realize there is likely strong alignment with known requests and wish lists yet it is still valuable to understand the underlying goals stated explicitly in this form.