University of Twente Student Theses


User Requirements Elicitation: A Comparison between Generative Techniques and Semi-Structured Interviews

Garcia Navarrete, Alejandro (2020) User Requirements Elicitation: A Comparison between Generative Techniques and Semi-Structured Interviews.

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Abstract:Background: The human-centered design process involves the user in different design phases to design a quality product. In the early stages of this approach, the end-users are identified and later elicit their requirements. Designers and developers can face challenges when contacting users because they can be unaware of their needs, express emotions, and will probably not have technical knowledge related to the product. To understand human experiences and conscious and unconscious knowledge, designers apply different methods such as semi-structured interviews and generative techniques to help participants express themselves and translate their needs into user requirements. The human experiences are stored in different layers, from the surface of consciousness to deep unconsciousness. Generative techniques seem to help researchers understand people’s unconscious experiences, while the interview method seems to help people understand the surface layers of knowledge. Therefore, it is expected that interviews can only provide a superficial type of user needs. This research is relevant because it can explain if it is possible to understand people’s unconscious needs and experiences by implementing traditional methods such as interviews and newer methods such as generative techniques. Research question: This research compares the generative techniques and semi-structured interview methods and identifies differences and similarities for user requirement elicitation. This study was conducted online using a video meeting platform and a digital workspace for visual collaboration. Forty students from the University of Twente participated. Method: The participants were divided into two groups, one for the interviews and the second for the generative techniques, in this case, subdivided into smaller groups. Each method session’s goal was to make participants share their thoughts, experiences, and ideal version of the Canvas learning management system. Results and Conclusions: The results were coded in three different categories, showing more similarities than differences and demonstrating expected results but also presenting unexpected results from interviews as a method of researching requirements Conclusion: Both methods let participants think and express their past and present experiences and communicate their ideal future technology needs. The interviews can help participants express profound experiences and unconscious knowledge by asking follow-up questions and the generative techniques as expected, helping them express deeper needs and knowledge.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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