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Task completion time

What is task completion time? 

Task completion time refers to the duration it takes for a user to finish a specific task within a system or application. It’s a common metric in usability testing, helping to assess the efficiency of a user interface or experience by measuring how long users take to achieve a defined goal.

Synonyms: time on task

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When and how will you use task completion time?

You’d use task completion time during usability testing to gauge the efficiency of a user interface. By assigning specific tasks to participants and measuring the time they take to complete them, you can identify design bottlenecks and areas for improvement. Comparing times across iterations or against benchmarks helps in refining and optimizing the user experience.

Benefits of task completion time

Task completion time, a pivotal metric in usability testing, offers more than mere speed insights. It delves into user efficiency and design fluidity. So, what are its key benefits?

  • Objective Measurement: Provides a quantifiable metric to assess efficiency.
  • Performance Benchmarking: Enables comparison of different design iterations or competitor products.
  • User Efficiency: Helps identify how quickly users can achieve their goals.
  • Optimizing Workflows: Pinpoints areas of the design causing delays or confusion.
  • Improving ROI (return on investment): Enhances user satisfaction, leading to better retention and conversion.
  • Identifying Pain Points: Long task times can highlight areas needing redesign or rethinking.
  • Supporting Design Decisions: Data-backed evidence to justify design changes.

How to create task completion time

  1. Define the specific task users must complete.
  2. Set clear start and end points for the task.
  3. Use tracking tools or software to measure the time taken.
  4. Analyze the data, considering outliers or disruptions.
  5. Refine the task or UI based on findings to optimize the time.


Why is task completion time important in usability testing?

Task completion time is crucial in usability testing because it helps assess the efficiency and effectiveness of a system. Shorter task completion times often indicate better usability.

How can task completion time be measured in usability testing?

Task completion time can be measured by recording the time it takes for users to perform specific tasks, usually in seconds or minutes.

Are there industry benchmarks for acceptable task completion times?

Yes, some industries have established benchmarks for acceptable task completion times, but these benchmarks can vary widely depending on the type of system or application being tested.

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Usability Testing Metrics

Usability Testing Metrics

In this guide we are going to talk about all the different types of usability testing metrics that you can measure and explain how to use them to evaluate the usability of your product.

Within-Subjects Design