collaborative techniques for developing usability requirements

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Usability requirements are non-functional requirements that translate user research into meaningful guidance for design and into measures of success for testing. Learn about how to guide collaborative requirements definition and integrate user research and business analysis in defining usability requirements. Presented at UPA 2011.

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Usability Requirements: What, Why, When, and Some Ideas How

Collaborative techniques for developing usability requirements: Engaging users and stakeholders in understanding usability goalsKaren BachmannLead UX Consultant, Perficient@KarenBachmann #UXreqs #UPA2011

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Session goalsLearn what usability requirements are and how they fit within the development life cycle, regardless of the development methodology used.Learn how to guide collaborative requirement definition with users and business stakeholders.Learn how to select collaboration approach.Learn how to translate all input into meaningful, measurable, traceable usability requirements.@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Requirements in generalProvide a unifying context for a project that defines expectations for the end productAre focused, measurable, and testableProvide knowledge communicated to the entire project team throughout the project life cycleOften address only functional specifications: Does the product work?@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Typical usability requirement in the wildThe system shall be easy for users to understand and use.@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Usability requirements, specificallyWhat they are: The expected and desired user reaction to a systemDefine how well a product should work for the intended usersDefine target user satisfaction goalsWhat they arent: Functional requirements, use cases (strictly speaking), marketings product mission statements, nebulous user wish listsAddress non-functional requirements and user satisfaction: Does the product work well for the intended users?@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

User goals vs. Usability requirements@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Usability RequirementsFunctional RequirementsExpanding the usual practicesComplete System RequirementsUser Goals & TasksFunctions & WorkflowBusiness Drivers & GoalsUser ResearchBusiness Analysis@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Why develop usability requirements?Translate user research into non-functional requirements meaningful to development and QA teamsProvide a common, familiar language to focus on user needsInclude usability into a product foundation rather than add it as an afterthought or fixTest design and development assumptionsSupport usability testingServe as a rallying cry for user satisfaction@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

A concept revisited: FURPS+FunctionalityUsabilityReliabilityPerformanceSecuritySupportability+Grady and Caswell, 1987@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

F vs. U vs. RPS+FunctionalCore problem is often well-defined (What)Stakeholders often include subject matter and domain expertsGenerally have agreement about the core problem to be solvedUsabilityUser success metrics are more varied and less understood (How well)Stakeholders often know less about users than they think they do (Who and Why)Priorities are not agreed upon: Stakeholders need a common understanding of usersRPS+Success metrics are usually clear and the costs of failure obvious and measurableExperts are technical specialistsNeed is often driven by regulation or by SLA, eliminating much discussion@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Benefits of collaborationEngages and guides users and stakeholders in identifying non-functional usability requirementsBuilds a shared understanding of who users are and how users define successGuides prioritization of user goals requirementsCreates a partnership with requirements analysts to ensure that complete system requirements include the user perspective@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Example collaboration toolsRequirements workshops, incorporating techniques such as affinity diagramming, storyboarding, gamestorming, prioritization exercisesFocus groups with usersConceptual design workshops (with emphasis on conceptual)@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Selecting a collaboration approachUnderstand, when in the analysis phase, the effort is taking place.Understand the nature of the product being developed.Integrate existing research and communicate ongoing research efforts.Confer with BAs whose primary responsibilities are requirements specification@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Collaborative workshopsPlan to balance the needs of the users and the business and the ultimate goals for the end product, including budget and time constraints. Set clear goals for the workshop and each activity. Define success concretely.Set reasonable time frames and other limits for the workshop.Establish and communicate clear ground rules for participants, even as early as within the invitation to participate.@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Collaborative workshops (contd)Prepare research findings in an easily digestible way, generally distributing information before hand.Make sure the participants do any required homework and are ready to work when the workshop starts.Make sure the collaboration techniques used fit the organization culture and support the goals of the project.@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Collaborative workshops (contd)Ensure that each participant is able to participate freely without pressure from other participants (such as supervisors) or external stakeholders.Facilitate productive conflict, but be prepared to intervene if the tone becomes argumentative or defensive.Establish a parking lot and use it consistently as needed.@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Collaboration focus changes over timeEarly phase Discovery and definition:Conduct activities to support open discovery of requirementsReview and analysis of raw user research findingsReview and alignment of business driversPrioritization of usability criteria and user typesLater phases Distillation and prioritization:Analyzing benchmark test dataDefining specific metricsPrioritization usability requirements@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Writing usability requirementsConvert qualitative wants and needs to quantifiable goalsAbsolute: A concrete measure of successRelative: Compared to another criteria such as a previous releaseWrite them in terms of user tasks and goalsPrioritize needs of different user groupsBe realistic success is rarely 100% of users@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Writing usability requirements (contd)Define any pre-conditions that must exist for the product to successfully fulfill the requirementsPrioritize the usability requirements against priorities for the usability criteriaTest the requirements and report findings back to the group@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Format and customersUsability requirements can be captured in any type of requirements format: Traditional requirementsUse casesUser storiesConceptual prototyping with notationsConstruct the requirements to support customersDevelopersUsability testersAcceptance test coordinatorsSystem testersMarketing and sales@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Wrapping UpKnow what usability requirements are.Know ways to guide collaborative requirement definition with users and business stakeholders.Know how to select collaboration approach.Know how to translate all input into meaningful, measurable, traceable usability requirements.@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

ReferencesC. Courage, K. Baxter. Understanding Users: A Practical Guide to User Requirements - Methods, Tools, and Techniques.E. Gottesdiener. Requirements by Collaboration: Workshops for Defining Needs.R.B. Grady. Practical Software Metrics for Project Management and Process Improvement.H. Istance. http://www.cms.dmu.ac.uk/~hoi/mult1003_2001_2002/week8/ lecture8_2.pptJ. Jubner. http://www.deltamethod.net/hb_WR5_UsabilityReq.htmNIST. Common Industry Specification for Usability - Requirements. http://zing.ncsl.nist.gov/iusr/documents/CISU-R-IR7432.pdfNokia. Design and User Experience Library v2.0. http://library.forum.nokia.com/index.jsp?topic=/Design_and_User_Experience_Library/GUID-024AF250-B54D-488D-8D54-C2D52E5C07B1.htmlE. Smith, A. Siochi. http://www.acm.org/~perlman/hfeshci/Abstracts/88:264-266.htmlW. Quesenbery. 5Es of Usability. http://www.wqusability.com/Wikipedia. FURPS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FURPSXerox Corporation. How to Develop Usability Goals. Usability SIG website: http://www.stcsig.org/usability/resources/toolkit/toolkit.html@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Image creditsClock front: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/791088Clock back: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/791089City model: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/712776House and plans (licensed): http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-7921798-housing-project.phpTree swing comic: http://www.businessballs.com/treeswing.htmNote card: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/956985@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011*

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

Appendix: Quick overview of writing usability requirementsWhile the focus of this main presentation was developing the collaboration, here are a few quick slides showing tips on writing usability requirements and some simple examples.

@KarenBachmann #UXReqs #UPA2011

General usabil

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