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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