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New Post 2/26/2012 10:04 PM
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User is offline Javad
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Requirements specification for a website 
Modified By Javad  on 2/27/2012 1:12:29 AM)

Hi all,

I have a question and I have searched different web sites and books for the answer but still I could find no clear answer. The problem is that we are working on a educational website (a website that should be a Rich Internet Application and have many Web 2.0 features) that its main purpose is to deliver educational content to the audience. At the same time our customers want the website to support their content production process. To put it simply, people prepare stuff related to a lesson (text of lesson, audio podcasts, video presentations etc.) and put them on the website for audience; something similar to content management systems. Now my question is that should we model requirements of website as "use case". Is it correct to list use cases like this:

UC1- View text of lesson
UC2- Play audio podcast
UC3- View references
...

We have bunch of complicated requirements for representation of text and other stuff, e.g. text should be in RTF format, it should contain links to other parts of website and so on and so forth. My problem is that none of these can be easily captured in UC document since there is no user interaction, just description of layouts of the page etc. Waiting to hear from you guys

P.s. Any reference too a book or article specific to requirements specification of Web 2.0 projects are welcomed.

 

 
New Post 2/27/2012 1:54 AM
Accepted Answer 
User is offline Kimbo
456 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Requirements specification for a website 

Javad,

What you're describing sounds more like non-functional requirements. The classic use case view involves a problem statement (can't remember the exact words), use case diagram, use cases and non-functional requirements.

If you're looking at requirements for a web site you also need to do an audience analysis, information architecture and content definition as well as the standard requirements stuff like process, use cases, business rules, etc.

Kimbo

 
New Post 2/27/2012 6:59 AM
User is offline Sandy
74 posts
8th Level Poster




Re: Requirements specification for a website 

Hi Javad,

User storyboards work very well for this type of situation.  Storyboards include a visual mockup or representation of the screen, along with text description of how the user interacts with the screen and any specific requirements for navigation, content presentation, etc.  The mockups can be any degreee of sophistication - from a hand-drawn sketch to a Visio wireframe, to something more elaborate created with UI tools such as Balsamiq's "Mockups".

As Kimbo noted, you'll probably need to create related documents such as user personas / profiles (or audience analyses), and some form of documentation for the functional requirements.  Business rules can be documented in the storyboards, but more typically they would be documented in the use case and/or in a separate business rules document.  For the website you described, example business rules might specify whether all users can access all course content or whether a user can only access content for a course in which s(he) is enrolled.

Other non-functional requirements should be defined in a separate specification.  Page load / performance requirements are often important when displaying video or content that is graphics-intensive.  Other requirements might be the web browsers that need to be supported (eg. Safari and/or Mozilla, as well as IE - some graphics or podcast formats may not be as compatible with different browser types or versions).

I've recently worked with a team doing the same type of website, and they were very successful using personas and storyboards for this purpose.

Sandy

 
New Post 2/29/2012 11:11 PM
User is offline Javad
4 posts
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Re: Requirements specification for a website 

 Hi,

Kimbo and Sandy, I should thank you both for your helpful reply. I try to choose best combination of traditional RE methods along with what you have suggested.

 
New Post 3/1/2012 12:18 AM
User is offline Kimbo
456 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Requirements specification for a website 

Javad,

One fundamental thing to know about creating websites that I should have stated. Always write them from the point of view of the visitor!

Obvious really but a lot of websites fail that basic thing.

Kimbo

 
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