Get it right from the Start - User Experience Oriented Requirements Gathering


The goal for this session is to introduce a process and tools that can help any team capture requirements and understand user priorities in ways that will help the team maintain focus on the user and usability from product inception to deployment and beyond.

The focus will be on introducing contextual inquiry: a technique that involves observing and documenting users behavior in their natural environment. We will also introduce analysis outputs from the research that are geared towards understanding and segmenting the target audience in order to interpret user requirements and drive strategic design decisions.

Conduct user research in the field - It is commonly known in the usability research field that users will describe a task one way and perform it quite differently. All too often requirements are built based on how users describe their tasks and the product that is delivered does not meet their actual needs. When users are observed doing their day-to-day tasks, the resulting set of requirements is much more accurate, and will end up producing a higher quality product.

Know who your users are and how they behave - To make the data captured during contextual inquiry actionable we create personas and user typologies. Personas are used to help focus a team on a specific audience and provide concrete data on user archetypes. A User Typology visually describes the different ways your users interact with and consume information. It focuses on identifying and grouping users based on behavior - regardless of their persona or role.

These artifacts help the development team stay focused on, a) who the users are and b) how the system needs to be designed and built to meet users needs need, throughout the development process. We will use scenarios and deliverables pulled from past project work to demonstrate the success of both these processes.


Session Track

User Experience Design

Experience Level


Drupal Version