Tasks are series of actions made to achieve goal – ie., “request article from Interlibrary Loan using online form.”
Scenarios are tasks put into a short narrative – ie., “your instructor recommends an article and gives you a citation for “Usability Tests made Simple,” from The Journal of Usability, 2 (34), 11-23. You realize that Cook Library doesn’t have that journal, and you would like to request it from Interlibrary Loan”.
They are meant to take some of the artificiality out of the task.
(e.g. You have the afore-mentioned article citation. Go to the Interlibrary Loan link located in the list of services on the left. Complete the online form including author, article title, journal title, volume, issue and page number)
Scenario should test user’s ability to complete the task in a natural way without step-by-step instructions.
Goldberg, J. H., Stimson, M. J., Lewenstein, M., Scott, N., Wichansky, A. M. (2002). Eye tracking in web search tasks: Design implications. In Proceedings of the 2002 symposium on Eye tracking research & applications (pp. 51-58). Retrieved March 28, 2009 from ACM Digital Library .
Hackos, J. T. & Redish, J. C. (1998). User and task analysis for interface design . New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Jeffries, R., Miller, J. R., Wharton, C., & Uyeda, K. M. (1991). User interface evaluation in the real world: Comparison of four techniques. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems: Reaching through technology (pp. 119-124). Retrieved March 28, 2009 from ACM Digital Library .
Molich, R., Ede, M. R., Kaasgaard, K., Karyukin, B., (2004). Comparative usability evaluation. Behavior & Information technology, 23 (1), 65. 74. Retrieved March 28 from Academic Search Premier database.
Rubin, J. (1994). Handbook of usability testing: How to plan, design, and conduct effective tests . New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Snyder, C. (2003). Paper prototyping: The fast and easy way to design and refine user interfaces . San Francisco: Morgan Kaufman.