Identifying needs and establishing requirements

10.1 Introduction

10.2 What, How, and Why?

10.3 What are requirements?

10.4 Data gathering for requirements

10.5 Data analysis, interpretation, and presentation

10.6 Task description

10.7 Task analysis

10.1 Introduction

An interaction design project may aim to replace or update an established system, or it may aim to develop a totally innovative product with no obvious precedent. There may be an initial set of requirements, or the project may have to begin by producing a set of requirements from scratch. Whatever the initial situation and whatever the aim of the project, the users' needs, requirements, aspirations, and expectations have to be discussed, refined, clarified, and probably re-scoped. This requires an understanding of, among other things, the users and their capabilities, their current tasks and goals, the conditions under which the product will be used, and constraints on the product's performance.

As we discussed in Chapter 9, identifying users' needs is not as straightforward as it sounds. Establishing requirements is also not simply writing a wish list of features. Given the iterative nature of interaction design, isolating requirements activities from design activities and from evaluation activities is a little artificial, since in practice they are all intertwined: some design will take place while requirements are being established, and the design will evolve through a series of evaluation–redesign cycles. ...

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