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User Task Analysis

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) is a state agency that manages two principal venues: the Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston's Seaport District and the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay.


Because the MCCA used manual processes to manage events, their customer satisfaction plummeted due to slow service delivery. At the same time, millions of dollars in services were delivered without being invoiced. Executives believed that because their business had 68 user roles who performed 200 distinct tasks, it was just too complex to be systemized.


I believed otherwise. I knew we'd find patterns. I mapped roles to task to discover how they intersected. Viewed close-up, the business did indeed appear to be complicated. However, when "viewed from 40,000 feet," the patterns were apparent.

Using basic techniques for user-task analysis, I collapsed the original 68 business roles into just 7 profiles and reduced the design effort by 89.7%.

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