UX Design: No software product, be it a website or an app, can succeed if created in a vacuum, without a clear idea of what the client needs and who the client is. To avoid an ultimate failure, businesses need to collect UX requirements before starting the development process. Communicating these requirements to the development team ensures that you end up with a product meeting your needs and serving its goal. Thus, UX requirement collection is part and parcel of a broader UX strategy. Here we clarify how to do it correctly to maximize your project’s chances for success.
What Requirements Do You Need?
Once you approach UX requirements, you need to be perfectly clear about their place in the overall project requirements set.
- Business requirements are the top-priority requirement set, including the sponsor’s perspective, the project’s broad scope, and business objectives it aims to meet.
- Next come the user requirements (user perspective, goals, inputs, and outputs).
- The most detailed requirement level is that of system requirements. They are divided into functional (what the app can do) and non-functional (how well it does that). UX falls into the latter category together with such parameters as reliability, capacity, scalability, security, manageability, and data integrity of the product.
Making an app that a user will like and need seems simple – the main thing you need is to learn what people need and make an app based on that set of requirements. Still, the development process is not that primitive, with UX requirements gathering involving an iterative inquiry and technical adaptation process. The ugly truth is that users can rarely express what they need in clear terms. So, the app design process combines various stakeholder perspectives to convert UX requirements into practical design solutions.
Requirement Collection Process Step by Step
All developers strive to achieve maximum usability as it contributes to product adoption and user satisfaction. Here is the algorithm for getting a complete idea of UX requirements for your project.
#1 Ask Your Users
So, to know what your target users need, you have to ask them first of all. This can be done in many ways, with the main methods used today including:
- Interviews are a powerful tool for interaction with target users. End-users feel valued and participating, while team members get first-hand knowledge of the expected design outcomes.
- Focus groups are another effective technique for understanding UX requirements. Here, a group of like-minded people engages in a discussion and generates efficient solutions through constructive debates. The resulting UI/UX solution is a consensual one, meaning that it will fit the majority of target users.
- Questionnaires are less in-depth than interviews but help reach larger numbers of target users. The simplest way to collect user needs data is to launch a survey on SurveyMonkey and distribute the link among your target audience.
- This method is suitable for those unable to interact with target users in person. You can observe how people behave in a specific situation and document their actions and challenges, developing the app with features targeting those challenges.
- Competitor research. If you can’t reach target users directly, look at how your competitors implemented similar solutions. If their apps are demanded on the market, they’re doing the right thing.
#2 Analyze User Data
Depending on the method you used to collect data, you will end up with a specific dataset awaiting analysis. You need to make sense of the collected dataset before making any UX decisions. Thus, to structure your data and simplify its analysis, you need to categorize it first (by socio-demographics, personal traits, user skills or knowledge, motivations, etc.).
Next, based on user insights, you can build generic personas symbolizing your target user categories. Assign descriptions to them and define their needs, goals, and characteristics. These profiles will help you realize the different UX requirements your users may have. Then create a use case scenario for each persona and list the tasks that each persona will need to complete with the help of your app. Such task analysis gives a much clearer view of what features the app should include. Besides, you can see how different people will use the app differently, thus getting insights into how the UI can be optimized to fit all user needs.
#3 Transform Needs into Requirements
Once your scenarios are ready, you can see clearly what each user needs in specific situations. Now you can refine those needs into UX requirements so that each app feature serves its goal and meets user needs on the practical level. Assign the level of importance to each function and give a rationale for its inclusion. There you go, with a list of technical specifications for UX designers.
How to Collect Requirements Efficiently?
To ensure that your UX requirements collection process goes smoothly, follow these expert tips from professionals.
- Focus on the vital mandatory features first, leaving the preferable but avoidable add-ons for later. You can quickly perform feature prioritization by using a priority matrix.
- Use workshops and interviews as the primary methods of eliciting user requirements. These techniques work well in terms of developing creative solutions to end users’ primary pain points.
- Define user personas and create user scenarios and stories. This way, you can cover the needs of broad user categories and match the product with the target audience’s primary goals.
- Prioritize communication and usability with a user-centric design mindset.
- Don’t neglect product testing. You should check whether you’re on the right path before investing a pile of money in the project.
With these best practices in mind, you can better grasp what your users need and how it can translate into practical design solutions. Go through all UX requirement gathering steps to identify your target users’ needs and aspirations. That knowledge is sure to fuel wise design decisions and contribute to your apps’ impressive usability.
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