As Taylor writes, "Over the years, web sites have become quite a phenomenal and developers are developing web sites using an ad hoc approach, which is causing problems. Developing efficient web sites requires meeting user needs by producing high quality web sites…
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As Taylor writes, "Over the years, web sites have become quite a phenomenal and developers are developing web sites using an ad hoc approach, which is causing problems. Developing efficient web sites requires meeting user needs by producing high quality web sites. One way of solving the problems developers are having is by developing a web development process for developers to use." (Taylor, n.d.)The web development methods include a process that describes the steps to follow during development of web sites. The web site development process is driven by use cases that are created based on user requirements, that's why it's so important to build up comprehensive user requirements. As Tran writes, "Requirements and specifications are very important components in the development of any embedded system. Requirements analysis is the first step in the system design process, where a user's requirements should be clarified and documented to generate the corresponding specifications." (Tran, 1999)According to Kaner et al. cited in Sisson (2002), "A requirement is an objective that must be met. Planners cast most requirements in functional terms, leaving design and implementation details to the developers. They may specify price, performance, and reliability objectives in fine detail, along with some aspects of the user interface. Sometimes, they describe their objectives more precisely than realistically."
Website projects are usually done on tight schedules, with limited resources, and without a well-defined approach for achieving usability. For many developers it's easy to dismiss usability methods as an unnecessary overhead cost. But usability methods can be integrated efficiently and effectively into each stage of the website design process. Employing this process, and by using forms, checklists, and other tools to improve communication and workflow, website projects can be managed successfully achieving a highly-usable product. (Gergle, Brinck, Wood 1999)
One very useful technique for implementing usable website requirements described by Rhodes (2006) is Pareto Principle. He writes, "Usability provides another benefit to product teams. It is very likely that you have one or more people on the team who live and die by the Pareto Principle. Everything is defined in terms of the 80/20 rule, where the majority of issues seem to stem from a small fraction of items. Similarly, most of the value seems to come from just a few features or functions."
Various literature (Bolchini and Randazzo 2005; Tran, 1999; Cockburn, 2000; Courage, Baxter, 2004; Lauesen, 2002) mention 3 phases of user requirements life-cycle in web site development: Requirements Identification, Requirements Analysis and Requirements Definition/Specification.
Requirements Identification is the requirements engineering task during which raw new potential requirements are identified. The typical responsibilities of Requirements Identification are to:
Identify the desires, potential needs, and expectations of the application's stakeholders.
Transform these desires, potential needs and expectations into potential new raw (unanalyzed) requirements. (Cockburn, 2000; Lauesen, 2002)
Requirements identification typically involves the requirements team performing the following steps:
Identify possible sources of requirements, such as stakeholders, experts, reusable requirements and requirements specifications, documentation, etc.
Interview customer representatives, user representatives, domain experts, marketing personnel, and user support agents.
Observe representative users at work.
Informally identify and capture the resulting potential requirements. (Cockburn, 2000; Lauesen, 2002)
Requirements identification for website development can typically be performed using the following techniques:
Website Studies. Reverse engineer requirements from legacy websites, competing websites, similar websites, and website databases.
Textual analysis of websites (e.g., noun/verb for object/operation, shall/must/will for
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