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User Requirements & Specifications is a Course

User Requirements & Specifications

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Full course description

After you have defined the design problem you’re working on (or perhaps while you’re still figuring it out), the next step usually involves determining exactly what criteria a solution should meet in order to address the design problem. Directly engaging with the users and stakeholders is oftentimes the first step to figuring out what needs to happen to address a particular challenge - does the solution have to be intuitive? Easy to move? Adaptable?

Good user requirements are one of the key factors that lead to a successful design as they capture the users’ and stakeholders’ needs, desires, and expectations for a product. Once the user requirements are determined, they are usually translated over to what is called ‘specifications’, which quantify the requirements and are the statements against which solutions are tested and verified with. Like the user requirements, you might elicit them by directly interacting with users and stakeholders, or through prototypes, trial and error, literature reviews, or standards, among many other methods.


After completing this block you will be able to:

  • elicit and develop user requirements from users and stakeholders

  • prioritize user requirements

  • translate user requirements into specifications

  • utilize data collection strategies to inform user requirements and specifications

  • write specific and unambiguous user requirements and specifications



Block Developers: Lydia Su, Robert Loweth, Maria Young, Sara Hoffman, Aliya Jawad, and Kathleen Sienko

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