What are the requirements gathering for UX/UI projects? In today’s article, we will take you through the ins and outs of this UX stage and provide you with its key features that are significant to the whole UX design endeavor. Take a moment to learn how to carry it out smoothly and effectively in a few simple steps.
Requirements gathering process for UI/UX projects – table of contents:
- What are UX requirements gathering?
- What UX/UI requirements gathering is all about
- Key elements of capturing UX requirements
- Requirements gathering techniques
- What impact does the requirements gathering stage have on the entire project?
What are UX requirements gathering?
In a nutshell, gathering UX requirements is the process of identifying and defining all the functionalities that our product should perform. The requirements can come from many different sources – there are design ones, business, technical as well as the requirements of our users. This is because every UX project is not only about design – but also about planning, coding, implementation, financing, analytics together with the entire product strategy.
During the requirements-gathering process, the crucial matter revolves around trying to constantly figure out what our product needs. On the surface, this question seems easy, but gathering requirements poses a great challenge – especially for novice, less experienced designers and UX researchers. It’s the entire research and design process involves many different people. There’s nothing better than teamwork, yet the larger the group, the more opinions, viewpoints, and suggestions. The creative chaos may obscure the clarity needed by UX researchers to focus on the user’s perspective as well as attain the perfect balance between business goals and the need of users.
What UX/UI requirements gathering is all about
Requirements gathering resembles a to-do list of all the functionalities our product has, and what solutions it delivers that enhance the well-being of recipients. It serves as a key document with a general blueprint of the project, and product as well as an approach to, and how the designers plan to approach solving it. Putting down the UX requirements involves in-depth research, conversations, interviews, and painstaking investigation to fish out valuable data and information. To solid a solid grasp of the requirements, analyze the following questions:
- Who are the main users of the product?
- What’s their age (range)?
- What’s their location?
- What’s their lifestyle?
- What are their activities and interests?
- How will they interact with the product?
- Which of their needs will the product meet?
- How are they currently meeting those needs?
- How much to spend on the product?
Key elements of capturing UX requirements
How to carry out the requirements gathering process? It relates closely to the core of the issue we plan to resolve with our design and solution till we reach the prototyping stage. We have divided it into four key steps that lead to the successful gathering of UX requirements.
- Discuss the basics with the customer
- Create documentation and deepen the topic
- Do the research and put down the requirements
First, understand the overall project objectives and the customer’s goal. Find out whether they have troubling issues you can fix with your solutions. Check whether they have looked for ones before. If yes, what previously failed and whether they had figured it all out but they could get through the process of making it happen.
Study these findings well early on to reach a full agreement with the customer. This way you’ll see the customers’ goals, expectations, needs as well as desires for your project. At this stage, understanding the client is the focal point around which your decisions and activities revolve. Naturally, as time goes by and your project progresses unexpected aspects show so you have to alter the expectations and problems to deliver upgraded solutions.
Once you have gathered the information discussed in point 1, organize it. Put everything down and present it to the rest of the team. Yet, keep in mind that these requirements are bare “signposts” in the process. Still, share the documentation publicly with the entire team. It should include customer interviews, user interviews, questionnaires and surveys with feedback together with other general information acquired during the requirements-gathering process. Take time to smartly organize as well as catalog the information in such a way, that anyone can retrieve it easily and quickly. This becomes the central guide to the product, customer, project, and overall context.
Once you make it, it’s time to take a closer look at the requirements to expand your knowledge in the area. Remember to stay in touch with the client, involve them in the process and pass on questions the UX designers and developers have when necessary.
Once your team has become thoroughly familiar with the prepared documentation and the problem to face, engage well in user research. Juxtapose the client’s problem with the users’ point of view and their real pains. Check whether the issue outlined by the client relates to the users’. Empathizing with users will enhance your knowledge of the product and project ultimately refining the documentation you already have.
A new vantage point, for instance, new users’ perspectives adds a lot to the project and the design requirements. Make empathy maps, persona maps together with user journey maps to get the full picture of the user, their problems, desires, and requirements. Present the findings to all stakeholders, the client, developers and designers, to keep everyone up to date with changes in requirements.Visualize the collected requirements by designing prototypes
All collected information and requirements point to defining the final product, its design as well as functionalities. Their sole scope focuses on helping the team to create a prototype that will translate these requirements into something tangible – to enable usability testing. Keep in mind, however, that prototyping and testing is not a linear process; you may need to revisit the collected requirements, expand the range of testing or modify the prototypes.
Requirements gathering techniques
We have already presented several techniques for gathering requirements, describing their key elements. Some of the most basic ones include:
- questionnaires and surveys
- workshops with the client
- analysis of data already held by the customer
- statistical data analysis
The choice of techniques depends on the project, the product and the stakeholders involved. Yet, take on at least a few different methods to get the most reliable information for documentation. This will help avoid unnecessary revisions and modifications later in the design process.
What impact does the requirements gathering stage have on the entire project?
The process of gathering requirements in a UX/UI project is a very important element at the stage of preparing for the project, planning the UX strategy, and setting the research plan. Reliably collected requirements will allow early on in the project to avoid unnecessary revisions later – thus saving valuable time for the research, design, and development team and the company’s budget allocated to the project.
The success of the project depends on finding a compromise between what our user needs (user requirements) with the capabilities and needs of the client (business requirements) and the technological capabilities of the development team. This brings us closer to releasing a product that will answer the user’s needs while being technologically feasible and implementable. Requirements gathering is a kind of link between the business and the user.
Gathering requirements for a new UX project is a process devouring a fair share of time and energy of a group of people. Regardless of the industry or brand, the project team needs this kind of guidance to know what it is really up against and what strategy to take in the design process. UX requirements illustrate the project’s scope, constraints, and goals.
Requirements gathering is the key step in any process, so don’t underestimate and neglect it but carefully collect all relevant information from the client and make sure your team and the client understand the essence of the problem. Well-drafted documentation at the project preparation stage will prove indispensable in later steps.
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