Product Ideation: Task Analysis

As consumers, the majority of us do not see the process that designers, researchers, engineers take in order to make a finished task or product. The part we don’t see — the planning and the making… is the task analysis.

Here is a little diagram that sums up how a project will proceed through a designer’s view:

A project starts with a hypothesis on a problem that a hypothetical customer or consumer may have. Field observations, diary studies, and customer interviews are then held to gain insight into the nature of the problem and to generate ideas. Next, potential solutions to the problem are generated using interaction design, visual design and prototyping. Finally, once the product is finished, it is ready to be launched! But that doesn’t end there though, the product is constantly being updated and closely monitored throughout based on user experience.

Sometimes, this is all a lot to take in and especially in “designer” terms, this concept and process may be hard to grasp. I’m going to portray an example and take you guys through all the steps — in how to complete the task of painting a room.

First of all, think about the problems and components involved. Will you have roommates? How are you going to decide what color paint? Do you have to move all the furniture around or just move as you paint? These are all questions involved in asking yourself before you start the process.

In my diagram above, I have drawn out the steps needed to successfully finish painting a room in 9 steps.

Step 1: Obtain permission from all your housemates — make sure that everyone is willing to repaint the room.

Step 2: Ask the landlord for permission since it is a rented house.

Step 3: Discuss all details with the roommates — such as what color to paint, what is the budget, what day is everyone free?

Step 4: After figuring out all the logistics, it’s time to go to the hard ware store to get all the necessary paint and supplies.

Step 5: Rearrange all the furniture and tape everything that do not have to be painted.

Step 6: It’s time to start painting! (this could take up to 7–8 hours, take breaks as needed).

Step 7: After the painting’s done, let the paint dry for a couple of hours. During this time, go out for dinner with the roommates for a job well done.

Step 8: Get a good night’s rest as everyone is exhausted from painting the whole day.

Last and final step: Wake up, eat breakfast, and move all the furniture back. The task is completed :)

So this was just an example of how we used task analysis to complete the process of painting a room. Hope this helps in giving you a general idea of how a designer works and their process in achieving the end result.

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