A lot of times you hear teams saying they are gathering requirements for a software project and they come up with this long document which no one ever reads and no one ever follows. These documents make people look like they have done a whole lot of work and they gain a high sense of achievement. Is this really the best way to do things, in this world where customer needs change as fast as they are requested ?.
Agile development suggests that constant engagement with the customer is what avoids the possibility of spending so much time developing software only for the customer to say they really like what it looks like but unfortunately it is not what they want. Believe me this happens a lot more than you think. Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating for no documentation at all, actually document a lot but it has to be meaningful documentation derived from constant customer engagement. Meaningful documentation includes among others content, features and platform.
Consider three major questions when generating requirements:
- What is worth doing?
- What are we creating?
- What value does it provide?
Determining what is value and what is not is very crucial in the generation of requirements. Be as detailed as possible on determining the persona of whomever you are building software for. Figure out what is meaningful to them by thoroughly defining what the problem you are solving for them is.
Requirements are not solutions:- It’s about asking as many questions as you can ask and finding out as many answers as you can get. Requirements are features and these can only be generated through finding out what content functionality and data will provide the most amount of value to a customer for B2B and to a user for B2C.
The value loop
A user already knows what they want before they come to use your product and in the process they grow trust. Trust grows through reviews, testimonials, ratings then convert by making them purchase sign up for newsletter or free trial.
Trust will turn into purchase or a subscription and then the user will keep coming back. Value goes out and then comes back. The user pays and incentivizes the business to keep offering value.
Understand your customer/user through the following criteria
- How do they define success?
- How do they measure it?
- Who is their competition?
They are different kinds of user requirements
- What they say they need
- What people actually need
- What they don’t know they need
Lastly the most important principle of good UX design is progressive disclosure-things should progress from simple to complex in your UI.