Product Ideation: Task Analysis for Painting a Room

Jonathan Netek
3 min readApr 16, 2016

OK, so our job was to create a task analysis map (thru storyboard format) for painting a room. At first, I was annoyed because as an OCD, list-making freak, I didn’t want to sketch. Plus, in my head I already had 65% of the tasks already listed.

I realized though during the exercise if I didn’t want my storyboard to be 1,000 frames long (like my list had inevitably already become), I needed to condense and combine steps into just one frame. I also had to make decisions on which way the scenario would go, where in my list I had already planned out different “trees” for each possible outcome. I’m happy with the result.

Page 1 of 2 of the process — in essence the first half.

Hopefully, it’s legible, my sketching skills are out of practice, and I realize that my handwriting has become abyssmal.

I decided that that the room in question was wallpapered (with either flowers or fried eggs, apparently). Once I had determined that needed to change, I consulted with my roommates and they agreed. In my List Brain, there were scenarios where this did not occur, resulting in my moving out and thereby not even having to worry about the wall in the FIRST place. Not the assignment, however.

A happily neutral and innocuous color was decided and permission, as well as some funds, were received from the landlord. I briefly considered that I already ownwd the place and didn’t need permission, but then why would I have roommates?! Plus I probably would have just copped out by paying someone else to do it then.

Again, condensing steps such as locating car keys, putting on seatbelt, making two rights, then three lefts to get to the hardware store, etc… we find ourselves at Lowe’s getting what we need and then home again. Only to realize that stripping wallpaper is probably the most god-awful job in the history of the world, and again considered moving out or just burning the place to the ground and starting over.

In the end, the wallpaper gets removed (maybe we paid someone to at least do THAT much for us?), and all is well. Beers get drunk, walls get painted and in the end this story has a happy, although neutrally innocuously colored, ending.

“True friends will help you move.” That’s bullshit. REAL friends wouldn’t expect you to help in the first place.

I was happy in the end with the assignment and my result. I think because in my head I was able to continue my crazy list-making while sketching out the fundamental steps to what really needed to happen.



Jonathan Netek

User-Centered Human. Curious Designer. Problem solver. Voracious reader. Amateur mixologist. Husband, son, brother, guncle.