Many IT projects fail because of a lack of proper planning, an unclear scope and poor requirements management. Project failure leads to wasted investments, excess cost, and lost revenue. How can avoid this?
Let’s have a look at the requirements management. There are various reasons why requirements could be inaccurate: they are incomplete, they are subjective, they are too unspecific, they leave too much space for interpretations, they are not verbalized correctly, etc.
When you are in a position where you have to work with these requirements, for examples as a product owner, manager or (user experience) designer you now have 2 options: You either work with them as they are or you try to clarify them. At this point, there are many who chose option 1, because it is faster and less demanding. You do not have to wait for someone else, get in discussions and better meet the deadline (for now). Based on these requirements, the product will be built and at a certain time, typically shortly before the official launch, it will be presented to the stakeholders and/or tested with users. And then, there is the big bang: users do not get along with it, stakeholders complain about the implementation etc. and we now have the situation where costs explode and the launch date has to be delayed.
When you decide on option 2 instead, the chances for late changes are significantly minimized. Even though it takes more time and is more demanding at this step, the faster you get through the following steps. My experience also should be that the fasted possibility to clarify and agree on something is to visualize it. When you see something and experience its behavior, you can immediately identify if you like it, if it works etc. One of my favorite tools for demonstrating how the interaction behavior of a feature could be implemented is Axure. Axure (no programming skills necessary!) is a powerful prototyping tool that lets you visualize your conceptual ideas very fast, from simple page structures and the position of elements to mini data base retrieval including sorting and filtering. With Axure you can translate a (poorly defined) requirement into a mock-up and use this then for discussing the correctness, behavior and feature set. By doing this, you will get a better understanding on the requirement(s) and can get a consolidate stakeholder option very early in the design lifecycle.
This is only one aspect for the usage of Axure. It can also be used for user testing, collecting feedback, demonstrating responsive behavior etc.
Steffen Schilb is an experienced User Experience Designer with more than 15 years of experience in designing convenient interactive solutions. In order to better visualize his conceptual ideas, he discovered Axure 10 years ago and became an Axure Pro. He holds a master's degree in digital media from the University Bremen and the University of the Arts Bremen and a diploma in computer science from the University of applied sciences Kaiserslautern. His focus is on complex and interaction-heavy experiences like banking, mobile apps, informational web sites and web apps.
As an employee, he worked for IBM and Swisscom (Switzerland) among others. As a freelancer, he worked for companies like Daimler, BMW, Nokia, UBS and Deutsche Telekom around Europe. For the last 4 years, he enriched his portfolio by giving seminars related to User Experience Design and Axure.
His expertise includes:
- Creating conceptual mock-ups for intuitive, user-friendly and efficient digital products like web sites, apps or touch terminals;
- Gathering and prioritizing (user) requirements;
- Creating personas and customer journeys;
- Translating requirements into wireframes and clickable prototypes (with Axure);
- Conducting user research and tests (existing product or work in progress);
- Expert evaluations / competitor analysis of existing products.
Visit steffenschilb.com for more information.