Friday, October 19, 2012

Yarl Geek Challenge - Requirements Round

Before you start reading the rest of the post please do remember the following unwritten rules about Yarl Geek Challenge.

1. Think out of the box
2. Playing it safe will give you an average score, having average scores will not make you win!
3. So remember there is nothing to loose and everything to gain, its a competition for you to take risks and pursuit your dreams!
4. None of the tools techniques given here might give the right answers to your project, they are just indicators, feel free to innovate and achieve the objective of the round.

Round Objective: Express the user experience of the chosen concept.

There are different techniques in which teams could start their requirements analysis, for example a simple approach might be to do a stake holder analysis. Where you simply start by identifying the potential users of the system and then trying to map the features and functionality each of these users expects from the system. By doing this you could try to capture a greater part of the user experience that users will expect from the system. Alternatively you could start with an analysis of the domain or analysis of a bench marked product. There are plenty of methods which could be used. Trick is to choose a simple yet effective way which would allow you to capture the scope well for your project.

Teams are free to choose how they want to express their user experience design, they could do it via a presentation, they could use a PPT, they could run it on a simulator like windows mobile or android, they could use a prototype, they could even design it on some sheets of papers and show it, they could use a story board, use case diagrams, etc. The trick is to use the technique/s which would best express the intended use of the system to the judges. Evaluation will not be based on the standards the teams had adhered to, but will be based on the quality of the user experience they had designed/envisioned for their product.

When at requirement stage another important trick is to figure out the minimum viable product. Which basically means for you to find out what are the minimal set of features you could start shipping your product with. This is important for teams which had picked large scale projects.

Make sure additionally you identify the following too,
- Areas which you wouldn't consider under the project scope ( "No go areas" ;) )
- External integration
- Any special non-functional requirements

The judges will be looking for the following when evaluating,

1. Quality of the user experience expressed
2. How well the scope had been identified and defined
3. Understanding of the domain and the problem being solved
4. Depth of analysis

Good luck with the preparations, if you have any questions about this round please do not hesitate to contact me!

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