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New Post 2/24/2008 9:42 PM
User is offline kr_BA
34 posts
9th Level Poster


User interfaces & usability specs 
Hi All,
Very often I find user interface sections in SRS/BRD templates,
I feel these sections are for user interface prototyping, but one
questions always haunt me that , just specifying the requirement
model in my SRS by Use case and activity diagrams should I go for
user interface prototyping or not? (by considering user inputs)
Kumar Rohit
 
New Post 2/24/2008 11:13 PM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
www.betterprojects.net
4th Level Poster




Re: User interfaces & usability specs 

Unless you are a UI expert from a previous life, I think you should steer clear of prototyping screen design.  This is based primarily on my experiencxe that professional UI people can do so much better then I can, but is backed up my my observation atht there is a broad range of UI issues to consider depending on the product users and environment (eg disability access, cultural colour palettes, etc.)

If you are a UI (or UX) expert then before you start prototyping up screenshots have a discussion with the solutions team and discuss your approach so they don't start taking your sketches as hard line requirements.  Imagine a website looking like an excel sheet demo!

 
New Post 2/26/2008 7:26 PM
User is offline Chris Adams
319 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: User interfaces & usability specs 
Modified By Chris Adams  on 3/3/2008 5:57:43 PM)

 kumarrohit wrote

Hi All,
Very often I find user interface sections in SRS/BRD templates,
I feel these sections are for user interface prototyping, but one
questions always haunt me that , just specifying the requirement
model in my SRS by Use case and activity diagrams should I go for
user interface prototyping or not? (by considering user inputs)
Kumar Rohit

Kumar,

It does take a certain experience level to be able to develop a really solid UI design.  Ideally, you will have a UI expert, or at least a business analyst who has taken the time to objectively study and consider what "good UI design" is, design your UI interface.

With that said, in my experience, 9 times out of 10 a business analyst with only a minimal amount of UI design experience will do a better job than if you left it to a programmer.  This is in no way a jab at our fellow programmers out there.  It's just a matter of priorities.  The business analyst has the user's best interest at heart and will work hard to acheive a solid UI design.  Programmers tend to be much too busy with how to structure their code and accomplish the details of the specific coding task to really come up with a usable UI design.

There are obviously exceptions to the rule, but I suggest you spend at least a small amount of time reading up on good UI design paradigms and then give it your best effort.


Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
LinkedIn Profile
 
New Post 2/26/2008 7:59 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
739 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: User interfaces & usability specs 

 craigwbrown wrote

Unless you are a UI expert from a previous life, I think you should steer clear of prototyping screen design.  This is based primarily on my experiencxe that professional UI people can do so much better then I can, but is backed up my my observation atht there is a broad range of UI issues to consider depending on the product users and environment (eg disability access, cultural colour palettes, etc.)

If you are a UI (or UX) expert then before you start prototyping up screenshots have a discussion with the solutions team and discuss your approach so they don't start taking your sketches as hard line requirements.  Imagine a website looking like an excel sheet demo!

I definitely agree with Craig that if you have access to an experienced UI (or UX) designer then you should have them create the prototyping and screen design of the application.  However, in many organizations such a resource is not readily available so it is up to the business analyst to perform this activity.  Most analysts have been around the block a few times so they have a better understanding of what a good UI should look like then the stakeholders or even the developers.  Many business analysts use a prototype to elicit requirements from the stakeholders.

If you don't have experience with UI design, then try to learn as much as you can.  Make sure to validate your prototypes: show them to the stakeholders and future users and, without your explanation, ask them to tell you how they would use the system.  This would at least give you some feedback if your designs are intuitive to the end users.

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 2/28/2008 12:32 PM
User is offline Nathalie Azzola
1 posts
www.linkedin.com/in/nathalieazzola
No Ranking


Re: User interfaces & usability specs 

I also agree with you. Here are 2 cases I have in mind:

  1. You are the analyst and you have access to UI specialists. You can have them design the screens, or (if they do not have time) at least discuss with them in order to have tips or ideas.
  2. You are the analyst and you do not have access to UI specialists. Therefore I would suggest that you design the screens. It is better to have screens designed by the analyst than by the developers, because GUI is not developers' priority...

In that way, the analyst can have the wireframes validated by the client, in order for the client to have a general idea of what the screens will look like.

Regards.

N.A.

 

 
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