There are different analysis methods that can be used to determine user needs. Some of these methods include but are not limited to: user surveys, focus groups, interviewing, scenario and use cases, and evaluating an existing or competitor’s system (Bevan, 2002). User surveys are a set of questions asked to users to get their opinions on an existing system or feelings on implementing a new one. A survey with open-ended questions is a good method to getting quantitative and qualitative data from the users. Focus groups are a discussion-based format that brings stakeholders together. This method is useful for requirement elicitation and identifying issues that need to be taken care of. Interviewing is a method where stakeholders, users, and domain experts are questioned to determine what their needs and requirements are for the new system. “Seeing the environment also gives a vivid mental picture of how users are working with the existing system and how the new system can support them” (Mander, 2002). Scenario and use cases are examples given on how users can carry out tasks in a future system. Evaluating the existing system or a competitor’s system gives information on how what the current system lacks for user needs and what to avoid in the new system. Useful features in competitor systems can be part of the design and potentially become user requirements for the new system. All of these methods can be helpful in implementing Riordan’s new system.
Bevan, N., Maguire, M. (2002). User requirements analysis. A review of supporting methods. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Proceedings of IFIP 17th World Computer Congress, Montreal, Canada, p133-148. Mander, R. & Smith, B. (2002), Web usability for dummies. New York: Hungry Minds.