Analyzing the Girl Cave

My cousin Rachel is in her 2nd year of university, and moving into her first house with roommates. They are excited to give the living room a new coat of paint, and make it a true “girl-cave.” While catching up over Skype, we started talking about building software, and how it’s applied. One of the methods in the toolbox for UX designers is Task Analysis. To explain it, I used her new painting project as an example (with some stickman sketching).

Define the Problem

Textbook: Ensure there is indeed a user problem before going any further. This can be done through the scientific method. Make an observation, formulate a hypothesis, test this hypothesis with users, and prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Girl Cave: This is applied by observing the living room, hypothesizing that it needs to be repainted, and asking the roommates if this is a problem that is important and worth fixing. If yes - then proceed; if no - don’t proceed.

Prioritize Tasks

Textbook: Plan and prioritize the tasks needed, and their order to create a solution to the user’s problems.

Girl Cave: Rachel and her roommates would brainstorm tasks, then arrange them in a logical order. (Example below)

  • Confirm reimbursement from landlord
  • Pick colours
  • Retrieve money from landlord
  • Shop for paint
  • Prepare room for painting
  • Paint room

Document & Optimize the Task Flow

Textbook: Once you have all the steps recorded, it is important to work backwards from the core goal, reducing the number of steps needed, or optimizing them for efficiency.

Girl Cave: The tasks of retrieving money, shopping for paint, and preparing the room can be completed simultaneously by splitting the tasks up.


Once all of the above tasks have been completed, and the roommates are all back at home, there is only one more step. Time to paint the living room!

And so ends this incredible journey of design-thinking, valued mentorship, deep wisdom, and Medium-based pontification.

Le Fin.

Like what you read? Give Riley Brook a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.