Task Mapping with Roommates, the UX Way

by Chris Offutt

Hey there, loyal readers, UX Design student here…again… Just wanted to tell you a bit about Task Mapping, which basically is a fancy way of saying “how you get shit done” in a step by step way. My assignment? Painting a living room with 2 room mates… so here goes….

As you can see from my expert artistic rendering of very ugly living room, the biggest problem is that the walls are dark, the window is small, and it makes the living room a very dreary place to hangout. I really want to paint the walls, but before I can even consider that, I have to ask my landlord if it’s ok.

LA Times 6.19.16 comics, Bizarro
New Yorker magazine ?

I decided to call first thing in the morning (which is why I’m wearing my pajamas in this photo).

Not only was he ok with it, he offered to pay for the paint as long as we paid for the painters… (unless we painted the living room pepto bismol, pink, he refused to pay for any paint labeled ‘pepto’)

Next hurdle was to chat with my room mates. In order to protect their privacy, I’ll refer to them as ROOM MATE #1 and ROOM MATE #2.

Of course, not every plan goes smoothly. Room Mate #1 and I have very different taste, and then I ran into an issue with Room Mate #2 .

(top comic) Roz Chast, New Yorker magazine, bottom comic (?) New Yorker Magazine

Middle panel comic, New Yorker Magazine

Room Mate #2 hasn’t worked in a few months and can’t seem to get a job(might have something to do with the fact that he hangs out in our ugly living room, which makes him a pretty mopey depressed guy that no one wants to spend much time with)… BUT! Roomie #1 and I are UX Designers! (thanks to #trydesignlab)! So, we offered to pay Room Mate #2 if he would do the painting, plus, we even offered to hire one of his loser friends to help him out…

Next, we had to pick a color, so we each brought 3 ideas. Room Mate #1 is a fun artist type of girl, and although I liked the colors she proposed, they weren’t my style. Room Mate #2 brought 3 swatches that were more masculine than I think either of us girls really liked.

We decided to put the colors in a list by name so we could see which ones we had in common.

But we suddenly realized, all the colors we had each picked for the walls were dark, which would not solve the problem of making the living room brighter.

bottom panel comic, New Yorker Magazine

And we also discovered that each of us had a version of blue in our swatch choices… so, we decided to go with blue, and to make the room brighter, use a light blue on the walls.

Because Roomie #1 really likes bold colors, we chose a bright fuchsia(for some reason it looks red here, but trust me, it’s fuchsia) for the trim.

Roomie #2 suggested we use some modern touches to the room to make it more masculine, which we agreed to. He then suggested that perhaps we could pay his portion of the rent for 2 months in exchange for the painting he’s going to do. We all agreed to that also… And we all lived happily ever after!

giving credit where credit is due: For the past 10 years I’ve collected ripped pages from magazines, cut photos from brochures, smashed DVD’s and chopped up Barbie dolls, all in the name of art. Since I have no idea from where I got most of the images used in this post, if you notice one that you have the credit info for, please email asap and I’ll add it. thank you! chris
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