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New Post 10/31/2008 12:51 PM
User is offline Priyanka_BA
8 posts
10th Level Poster

Requirements elicitation for user interface vs application 


I am always very confused that how are the requirements for the user interface different from the requirements for the whole application. User interface is a part of the applicationd esign, right ? And also how the use case design different for User interface than the one designed for a partular functionality. My understanding is that when we are designing use cases is it not that we are keeping in our mind that there will be a screen infront of us on and navigating through that will enable us to perform certain desired functions.

Any thoughts would be highly appreciated on this.



New Post 11/15/2008 9:01 AM
User is offline VN
34 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: Requirements elicitation for user interface vs application 

Hi Priyanka,

The requirements for the whole application are classified as follows according to the BABOK ver.1.6:

Business Requirements are higher-level statements of the goals, objectives, or needs of the enterprise. They describe such things as the reasons why a project is initiated, the things that the project will achieve, and the metrics which will be used to measure its success.

User Requirements are statements of the needs of particular stakeholder or class of stakeholders. They describe the needs that a given stakeholder has and how that stakeholder will interact with the solution. User Requirements serve as a bridge between Business Requirements and the various classes of solution requirements.

Functional Requirements describe the behavior and information that the solution will manage. They describe the capabilities the system will be able to perform in terms of behavior or operations – a specific system action or response.

Quality of Service Requirements capture conditions that do not directly relate to the behavior or functionality of the solution, but rather describe environmental conditions under which the solution must remain effective or qualities that the system must have. They are also known as non-functional or supplementary requirements.

Assumptions and Constraints identify aspects of the problem domain that are not functional requirements of a solution, and will limit or impact the design of the solution.

Implementation Requirements describe capabilities that the solution must have in order to facilitate transition form the current state of the enterprise to the desired future state, but that will not be needed once the transition is complete.”

The user interface requirements are related to the user experience with the system. The requirements in this category look at the software usability, user friendliness, ease of use, colors to be used so that various color blind users could use the product with the same results and satisfaction as the other users, etc. In addition there are different user interface requirements if the application is Windows or Web-Based.

The Use Cases are not in the category of requirements. The use cases are a technique for modeling the system usage. They could be used when documenting functional and user requirements.

The user interface/experience requirements are better captured with screen mock-ups, prototypes, detailed descriptions, etc.

Hope this helps,


New Post 11/24/2008 3:11 PM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Requirements elicitation for user interface vs application 


Functional specifications should always be solution independent. This is very important to grasp. 1 use case does not equal 1 screen. Use cases do not design screens. The user interface design is part of the next step after you have created the functional design. Your functional design may be implemented as a web based, fat client, combination manual / system solution or whatever. In simple terms, the functional design is the set of functions that meet the business requirements. Then you have a User Interface specification (amongst other things) that implements the functional specification.


New Post 11/28/2008 7:10 PM
User is offline Dave F
4 posts
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Re: Requirements elicitation for user interface vs application 

In the consulting firm I work for we consider certain aspects of user interaction as part of the functional requirements - this offers an inplementation-independent bridge to UI design.  In particular, we identify (and test!) how the technical system will support users' work in terms of things such as:

- what information should be presented to the user and under what conditions
- what actions the user can initiate and under what conditions
- how the above information and actions will be grouped for the user ("focus areas" - which often end up being rendered as windows)
- the paths users can take to move between focus areas

So if you include requirements such as these, they can inform the structure of UI design and can support creating use cases that follow threads of user interaction, but in a system-independent way.

New Post 3/12/2010 8:39 AM
User is offline ueagirl
3 posts
No Ranking

Re: Requirements elicitation for user interface vs application 

Hi in a recent project we had a requirements for an intuitive user interface.

Our supplier said they couldn't test that, so they wanted us to take out the requirement, unless we could define intuitive.

I think they were hoping we couldn't.  After some discussion our users managed to come up with:

A user familiar with operating  a PC and windows type applications could perform a basic search without training.

A user trained to perform a task (we gave examples) could carry out that task without referring to documentation for the application.

The supplier was still reluctant but after discussion did accept this.

My point is make sure your requirements are testable and  persistance pays off!


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