Chapter 11: Establishing Requirements
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This activity involves you discovering requirements. For this activity, we offer some comments, and some partial feedback to help get you started on each part of the activity. The samples below assume that you are working on a booking site for a cinema, but you may have chosen a different kind of event.
1. Many people obtain tickets for events, so talking with friends or family or colleagues is one way to start. Whether you ask someone else, or consider your own experience, bear in mind that you need to focus on the intent behind the actions taken to book the ticket, rather than detailed steps of current activity; it is easy for bias based on current apps to creep in. There are also many types of ticket to book and several different sites to investigate.
2. One user profile is a male student aged 17 who is partially deaf. A scenario for this user might be.
"Dan enjoys taking part in virtual chat environments. Late one night, he is in conversation with someone who recommends that he go and see the latest James Bond movie which has just come out. It's too late to phone the local cinema to see if it's on there, so he decides to use a new app he has recently downloaded on his smart phone to obtain some tickets for the following weekend. In the app he looks for the film titles currently showing at the local cinema. The structure of the app is quite clear, and it's possible to go straight to the information about films and showing times. The James Bond movie is indeed showing. He can then indicate the time of his choice and order the tickets. He chooses the 7pm performance, but it tells him that this is fully-booked and offers him alternatives: the 5.30pm and the 8pm showings both have available seats. The app displays the seating plan for the cinema which shows the available seats for each showing, and how much each costs. Dan then chooses the seats and showing time that he wants, confirms the booking, and pays for it. As he is partially deaf, he needs to double-check that the cinema is equipped with suitable sound amplification technology that links in to his hearing aid. Having completed his order, he returns to chatting with his friends."
3. Some basic considerations and example requirements from this scenario are given below. Your scenarios may be very different, and will hence yield very different requirements:
The product should be able to offer alternative showing times if the one chosen is fully-booked.
Film titles, showing times and ticket prices will be needed
Environmental (physical, social, organisational, technical)
The user might be in a variety of physical settings, and at different times of day, e.g. at home, in the street, in the rain, etc. In our scenario Dan was probably sitting at a desktop computer but he could have been using a cell phone.
There are potentially many different kinds of user. You must decide who the product is targeted for: children under 18? only adults with a credit card? What about visually impaired users, or the elderly who may have difficulties controlling their movement?
The product should be usable the first time, without any training.