Why Tasks?

Stepping into the shoes of the visitors to your website to understand their ‘key tasks’ will help you improve the user experience of your website.

You only have a few seconds to engage a visitor and help them find the information they are looking for so you need to make them count!


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Your website is a tool that helps people complete tasks

NOT an online brochure!

Why people come to your website

When people come to your website they want to do a specific task (or set of tasks) eg, find contact details, learn more about what you do or purchase goods and services. 

Organisation focus vs user focus

Website content can often be organisation focused instead of user focused. This XKCD (www.xkcd.com) comic provides a great example. 

A diagram showing the discrepancy between the information on the home page of a university website (eg, news, promotions and school philosophy) and what people are actually looking for (eg, address, contacts, calendar, course lists, map and parking information).

A diagram showing the discrepancy between the information on the home page of a university website (eg, news, promotions and school philosophy) and what people are actually looking for (eg, address, contacts, calendar, course lists, map and parking information).

Define key tasks

Defining the most popular tasks, and making them easy to complete, will ensure visitors have a good experience and want to engage more with your organisation.

You can define your visitor key tasks by analysing:

  • their motivation for coming to your site

  • what you have to offer and associated benefits

  • stakeholder (external and internal) surveys

  • common queries – via email, phone and face to face

  • website statistics – popular search terms and pages.

Highlight key tasks

Key tasks can be highlighted in: 

  • navigation menus

  • highlight boxes

  • call to action buttons

  • well-written content

  • communicating visual hierarchy in the design.

Examples of key tasks

Examples of key tasks are:

  • find information on who you are and what you do

  • find contact and location details

  • find resources

  • join/get involved

  • register for an event

  • log in

  • donate.

How many?

Highlight the top 5-7 tasks so visitors to your site are not overwhelmed with information overload!

More information

International UX consultant Gerry McGovern discusses how digital teams are often blind to customer key tasks and why: