What is Task-Oriented UI in overall?

6 min readFeb 23, 2021
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As a designer, you have to follow a number of different scenarios. Like what features are important for a certain condition and what functions might seem like one filling the space. We don’t want our audience to get mixed up in things they don’t really care about, right!

So how can one create a perfect balance between design and features? How can one know what features the end-used might like in certain conditions?

Task-Oriented UI and UX designs are used to accomplish this. They follow strict rules to accomplish their goals at a certain level of user experience. In this post, we’ve shared a detailed discussion of task-oriented design, along with how it can benefit the end-user.

What is Task-Oriented Design?

In terms of website and app design, it’s a wild west out there. There are just so many screens and dimensions that one can be easily get tricked to follow a certain condition. Like some apps are better off used on a smartphone, some are more functional on a Laptop as well. Not to mention, each one of these devices has different processing power.

As a designer, our job is to observe the end-user goals, needs, and objectives to appropriately specify the best-case scenario for them. Once a blueprint is set up, we then have to determine whether the set objectives meet the computation power of the end-user or not. The final goal is to make a seamless experience, across all the devices.

Task-Responsive vs Task Oriented Design

A Responsive design follows the same approach as a task-oriented design; the only difference is the number of available devices for each usage model.

A responsive design is mostly used on a computer, tablet, and smartphone. Here designers have to focus on the layout, elements and adjust each category on a smaller device.

As for Task-oriented design, you have to design each of the functionalities in a different manner. For example, if a customer uses the Messaging app on a smartphone, they should get the same experience on their smartwatch, Smart TV, and across all supported devices. This is the real art of making a design task-oriented.

Building a solution for consistency across all platforms is the key highlight here. Features are crafted in such a way to only focus on the primary goal, rather than the whole interface. Again, for a messaging app, all you need to do is read the message or send a text to someone.

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Usage Model for a Task-Oriented Design

For the most part, building a successful usage model for a Task-oriented project is like winning a lottery. The following are some general usage that a designer should keep in mind.


Users on desktops or laptops tend to be more performance-oriented. They spend much of their time using a certain feature. So, while creating a desktop/laptop related design, we have to follow a multi-tasking approach.

Desktops are more efficient than the rest of the computation devices, so there’s no restriction for processing power. Provided the support with keyword, mouse, and the size of the screen, you can create wonders in your design.

In short, it is always recommended to create a rich-controllable user experience for desktop and laptop users.


Although limited, tablets are still quite famous around the world. The screen of a tablet makes it viable to use as a laptop. However, their tasks are shorter in duration, as compared to laptops.

For example, you’re sitting in a coffee shop, checking your social feed, as well as using your productivity app. Most companies don’t create a separate UI and UX for tablet devices. In fact, they create a sort of like a bridge between a smartphone and a laptop. Some of the primary usages include:

  • Browsing internet
  • Making Illustration or Drawing
  • Communication
  • Checking Social Apps
  • Entertainment
  • Reading Content
  • Capturing and Editing Photos


This is where developers have to put real thought as smartphones are the hottest selling electronic gadgets of the 21st century. Mobile tasks are shorter, simpler, and more focused than the rest of the model used.

Given that they have a smaller display, you have to adjust everything within the audience’s grasp, which in this case is the thumb or fingers.

Mobile phones are also a great way to receive alerts and timely responses to them. By just pressing a few tabs, you can easily divert the audience into something more versatile. Some of the regular things you can do with a smartphone include:

  • Browse Internet
  • Entertainment
  • Communication
  • Notification
  • Control your Home smart devices
  • Capture and edit photos
  • Buy things online


Although recently emerged, Smartwatches have already created their mark on the consumer market. Now that people have installed too many apps on their smartphones, a simpler device is required that helpfully summarize each of these categories. Smartwatches are a perfect device to receive a notification.

This is the area where designers have to put real thoughts as smartwatches have a very small screen and lacks computational power. With smartwatches you can easily do:

  • Monitor Daily Activity
  • Receive Notifications
  • Control Smart Home Devices
  • List to Music
  • Monitor Health Activities
  • Communicate

Smart Speaker

There are a lot of smart speakers that come with a dedicated screen interface. Although they have limited functionalities, designers can still offer the same user experience throughout the entire collection. Some of the prominent things you can do with smart speakers include

  • Listen to Music
  • Get Notification
  • Access Certain Apps

Smart TV

TV’s are not only subjected to just watching movies and shows anymore. Now you can perform a whole bunch of other tasks as well. Smart TVs have one of the largest screens in the lineup but people don’t mainly use these, apart from just entertainment. They still reply on Laptops and Desktops to do their daily high usability tasks. Some of the uses of Smart TV include:

  • Control Smart Home
  • Play Game
  • Buy Things
  • Watch Movies/Shows
  • Browse Internet
  • Get Notifications


A lot of modern-cars come with an android system to grab user’s attention. Although the interface is the same as the tablet, you can still offer a unique interface in Smart car systems.

Task-Oriented Design — Sample

Companies like Apple and Google are investing real-time in Task-oriented design. Take the music app for example.

This app is compatible with all devices, so should be controllable in a number of ways. You can use the Music app on your Phone, Laptop, Smart TV, Smart Watch, and other devices. The functionality might be a bit different, but the user scenario is the same.

Making a solution that feels similar across all devices is a bit challenging. The way these companies offer a consistent look is because of the fact that they follow a strict interface. From the graphic point of view, designers use the same color, font family, and icons so users can easily navigate from features.

Final Verdict

If you have minimal device usability, like you just want your solution to be available on Laptop, Smartphone and Tablets — Task Responsive designs will get the job done.

However, the way technology is progressing, and new and new devices are entering the market, a Task-oriented design seems like a good fit. Because if you follow the other approach, you might have to redesign the whole package from scratch.

Many sites and apps fall miserably because they can’t follow a strict protocol. And that is, to offer the user, the same level of the environment across all usage models. So, before choosing any one of these models, just think ahead in the future a bit and then decide.




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