Task Analysis: Let’s Paint a Room

Approaching tasks with research

Recently I’ve embarked on a journey to change my career into UX Design. As a student of UX Academy (offered by Design Lab), we have assignments to complete that expose us to various areas of design, including: user research and strategy, wireframing and prototyping, and interaction design.

In this post, I’ll quickly go through my assignment of task analysis research. What is task analysis? Usability Body of Knowledge describes it as:

The actions and cognitive processes required for a user to complete a task or achieve a particular goal.


Let’s get to painting! / source: giphy.com

For my assignment, the scenario is:

I’m a design student who lives in a sweet flat in the Mission in San Francisco. My living room is hideous and I want to lead the effort in getting it repainted!

The issues? 1) I live with roomies, 2) How will we pay for it? 3) Will our landlord let us do it? 4) How do we even pick a color?

Follow me on my imaginary journey of revamping our ugly living room through my sketched storyboard!

My sweet sketching skills.

1. Understanding the problem

Simply put, our living room was super ugly and it needed a makeover. I figured the easiest way to do this was paint the room! I mean, look at the cracks and stains in my sketch.

2. Getting Consensus

After understanding the problem, I talked to my roomies to see if they were down for change — they definitely were. Next, I consulted our landlord to see if we were allowed to paint. He offered to pay for it as long as we did the labor. (YAY)

Discussing our options / source: thesmokingglasshour

3. Research

I turned to my best friend Pinterest for inspiration and asked my roomies to help me measure the living room. From the measurements, we figured out how much it might cost to paint.

4 & 5. Planning & Collaboration

After researching, I sat down with my roomies to discuss our plans and set a schedule for our efforts. We picked out some color swatches and painted small areas of the wall to see what we liked best. I think we ended up picking #3.

6 & 7. Buy Paint and Start Painting!

Finally, getting to what we actually needed to do: PAINT! Look how excited I am riding the shopping cart into the home improvement store.

8. Admire Our Work

After putting in a day’s work, we celebrate our new living room in style: in party hats and dancing.

Celebrate. In. Style. / source: giphy.com

Final Thoughts

The major point I took from this assignment is the importance of understanding a problem before trying to solve it. In this scenario, certain steps had to take place prior to actually painting our living room, including involving other people, researching our task, estimating cost, and choosing a color.

Now I can go enjoy my freshly painted (imaginary) living room!

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