Play 2: Define Initial Requirements


Gather needs and business goals from stakeholders


The UX process should be completed in an iterative fashion with each step built on the previous iteration to advance and improve upon the design until the final product is built. In other words, requirements gathering from stakeholders and users occurs in a continuous fashion throughout the entire process, not in a linear step-by-step fashion. Every organization must understand the relationship between their business goals and the needs of users. 

During the requirements gathering phase of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), the UX team is typically involved in the process of obtaining business, product and technical requirements for the design process described below. 

  • Business requirements entail all aspects of the project that are not about the product itself—business and marketing goals, timeline, branding, schedule for assessing the product features, functionality to meet client expectations, and visual aspects of the product and what it communicates to users. 
  • Product requirements include obtaining all the information related to the features and functions the product must be able to provide. 
  • Technical requirements have to do with specifications of how to make the product work. 

These requirements are learned from the client and key stakeholders, typically software engineers, developers, business analysts, project managers, product owners, as well as a whole host of others involved in the project or organization. Accessibility and inclusive design begin at this very initial phase. Addressing those users who will engage with the product in a different manner should be top of mind from the onset. For instance, considerations for language complexity and comprehension need to be part of the brainstorming discussions with stakeholders. 

These requirements are learned from the client and key stakeholders, typically software engineers, developers, business analysts, project managers, product owners, as well as a whole host of others involved in the project or organization. Typically, initial requirements are gathered, there is a project kickoff meeting during which time the expectations related to the product will be set for all parties. During this meeting, the design and product teams will get together with the key stakeholders to outline the purpose and goals of the product, the structure of the teams that will be involved in product design and development, and how they will collaborate and communicate during this process. At a high level, the discussion will also cover how to measure the digital product’s success and stakeholders’ overall expectations.  

CHECKLIST

  • Obtain input on business needs by engaging all primary users and key stakeholders 
  • Communicate a clear understanding of the client’s problem to UX team
  • Discuss key aspects of the product, who will use it and how it will be used
  • Identify and clarify key roles and responsibilities 
  • Utilize any requirements from past products or similar products designed by client
  • Allott and schedule the proper amount of time for the entire UX process–conducting research, analyzing results and designing wireframes and prototypes and testing

KEY QUESTIONS

  • What is the primary purpose of the product and its functionality?
  • What issue or problem does the digital product address or solve?
  • Who will use the product and why will they use it?
  • Who are the primary customers or users (e.g., the public, lawyers, students, internal clients) of the website/app/system?
  • Do you have a good mix of all possible users (e.g., age groups, geographic locations, various abilities and disabilities)?
  • How will the ideal digital product address all users’ needs? 
  • What were the results of the product or similar product if it had been attempted before? 
  • How will accessibility requirements be addressed?
  • How will we determine that this product has been successful?