Task Analysis Study: Painting A Room

When thinking about the task of painting a room I wasn’t immediately aware of all the nuances that would surface. In my imagined scenario, I needed to successfully paint a living room in a shared living space. A task analysis is a method that involves breaking down a high level task into subtasks and then using them as objectives. Using the method of a task analysis I did a very quick assessment of the major events that would need to occur in order for me to complete the larger task of painting the room. After narrowing down these major events I then thought through the smaller tasks that would need to occur in-between.

When working on a project, a task analysis can benefit a design team because it allows them to break down a larger task into components and it can begin to unearth pain points or values the user may hold while moving through a process. Even within my own process I discovered how important including apartment mates affected my process of completing the larger task. For instance, I needed consensus on the notion of painting the living room in the first place, as well as consensus on the choice of color. Without moving through these steps I wouldn’t have been able to complete the task. All in all, a task analysis can help bring clarity and build an outline for the process of a task. Lastly, it can help you begin to recognize some of your users’ values, such as in my case where democracy is valued.

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