Chapter 10 Establishing Requirements — Reading Review


The chapter provides an overview of establishing requirements in interactive design projects. And introduced various kinds of requirements.

Two Aims to achieve in Requirement Activities:
  1. Throughly understand users
  2. Have a set of stable requirements as a basis
Process of Requirement Activities

Establishing requirements is an interactive process, stakeholders requirement evolves and develops as they interactive with designs.

  • COST is the major reason why getting RIGHT requirement is important.
What are requirements?

Requirement is a statement about an intended product that specifies what it should do or how it should perform.

To my understanding, requirements provide the combination of functions and non-functions (a wide range) of the interactive design projects

Non-Functional Requirements Classification from Sommerville Software Engineering
Kinds of requirements
Data Gathering

Collect sufficient, relevant, and appropriate data so that a set of stable requirements can be produced.

Various Data Gathering Methods

There are also other innovative data gathering techniques like culture probes where traditional methods are not appropriate.

Contextual Inquiry
Contextual inquiry is an approach that emerged from the ethnographic approach to data gathering. It is tailored to gather data that can be used in design and it follows an apprenticeship model: the designer works as an apprentice to the user.
Contextual Inquiry Principles
Data Gathering Guidelines for Requirements
  • Focus on identifying the stakeholders’ needs.
  • Involve all the stakeholder groups.
Stakeholders Classification

It is not easy to cooperate all stakeholders needs together. Their may be conflicts between two difference stakeholders’ groups.

  • Involving only one representative from each stakeholder group is not enough, especially if the group is large.
  • Support the data gathering sessions with suitable props, such as task descriptions and prototypes if available.
Difference use of requirements to users
Data Analysis, Interpretation, and Presentation
Four User Centered Techniques
  • A scenario is an ‘informal narrative description’ (Carroll, 2000).
  • Use cases also focus on user goals, but the emphasis here is on a user–system interaction rather than the user’s task itself.
  • Essential use cases were developed by Constantine and Lockwood (1999) to combat what they see as the limitations of both scenarios and use cases as described above.
  • Task analysis is used mainly to investigate an existing situation, not to envision new products.
  • Include participants from a wide range of disciplines, with a broad range of experience
  • Don’t ban silly stuff
  • Use catalysts for further inspiration
  • Keep records
  • Sharpen the focus
  • Use warm-up exercises

True Innovations always come from crazy, ambitious ideas. People usually get used to normal business or life settings that gradually lost the ability to dream wild. A brainstorming that encourages to think of something crazy should be a good practice to follow.

Recall Xerox Star Example in Reading

David Liddle, leader of Xerox Star development team thinks highly of user’s conceptual model.

The design of Star emphasized the user’s experience with a lot of testing from users side to find out a better way to see what would work and how it could work. They have produced a 400-page functional specifications to specify product functional requirements.

The techniques Star used for data analysis, interpretation and presentation are Task Analysis and Scenarios. David began the whole Star design process with task analysis with a broader range of users. Then utilize the technique of scenarios for users to imagine how the product will present. Finally, it proposed a model for graphical user interface with carefully examine three aspects: User’s conceptual model (most important), control or command mechanism and display of information.

Other Related Thought

How Agile development idea could do more to interactive design requirements establishing.

Agile concept is developed upon the background where businesses want to have a quicker system development process then the traditional circle. Besides, more customer involvement (in this way getting more feedback through the iteration) is becoming a crucial need. Increasing changes to the software development is another aspect why Agile has been accepted by most of the firms. Agile focused more on people rather than process, it applies to user-centered interactive design concept. Lastly, Agile usually carry out incrementally. Each increment, customer will specifying the requirements in a much more detailed way.

  • Effective Summarization — What are the contributions? Why are they important?
  • Insightful Synthesis — How are the readings in the set connected? Juxtapose and compare concepts and contributions.
  • Application of Concepts — How do you apply the readings in the specific contexts of projects and research of interest to YOU?
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