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Part 6 of Dan Tasker’s Requirements in Context series discusses detailed business needs for a user interface (UI) or report, and capturing those needs as detailed requirements in a spreadsheet-based template for user interface.

“The objective of this article is to answer the question, “How much detail is necessary?” Spoiler alert – quite a bit. This is to avoid, as much as possible, a BA having to go back to a SME when designers or developers have business-level questions about a UI or report. Or worse – designers or developers not asking questions. Instead, making assumptions about what the business needs and proceeding to deliver the solution based on those assumptions.”

The context for discussions about a given UI or report is a project chartered to deliver an IT-based solution, and the UI or report has been identified as being in scope. Each UI or report is considered a ‘unit of delivery’ that should be represented by its own high-level requirement (HLR).

Business needs for a UI or report are seen to fall into three categories:

Operational Details – Things that apply to the UI or report as a whole. E.g. who needs it, when and where is it needed, what volumes are expected.

Area-level Details – Things that apply to a portion of the thing based on a meaningful grouping of fields or list of records.  E.g. area-specific selection criteria, sort criteria, pagination rules.

Individual Element Details – Things that apply to a data item being presented – either its source or its derivation. Each textual label of a field, column, or area. For UIs involving input fields – validation criteria and any business rules. For each UI action item (e.g. a button), a description of the action to be carried out.

Examples of details in each category for both a UI and report are presented, drawn from the Trips-R-You Flight Booking Case Study.

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Dan Tasker

The author of two books and numerous articles, Dan recently retired after working and consulting in the IT industry for the past 48 years. He spent the first 10 years working as a developer (called ‘programmer’ back then) in the United States and Canada. This was followed by two years teaching computer programming, database design, and data modelling. The remainder of his career was spent as a business analyst, in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He continues to be passionate about quality requirements and helping business analysts produce them. He can be contacted at [email protected]

2020-06-12 User Interface and Report Business Needs User Interface and Report Business Needs

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