Hierarchical task analysis: developments, applications, and extensions

Appl Ergon. 2006 Jan;37(1):55-79. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2005.06.003. Epub 2005 Sep 1.


Hierarchical task analysis (HTA) is a core ergonomics approach with a pedigree of over 30 years continuous use. At its heart, HTA is based upon a theory of performance and has only three governing principles. Originally developed as a means of determining training requirements, there was no way the initial pioneers of HTA could have foreseen the extent of its success. HTA has endured as a way of representing a system sub-goal hierarchy for extended analysis. It has been used for a range of applications, including interface design and evaluation, allocation of function, job aid design, error prediction, and workload assessment. Ergonomists are still developing new ways of using HTA which has assured the continued use of the approach for the foreseeable future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Decision Making
  • Ergonomics*
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Man-Machine Systems
  • Task Performance and Analysis*