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System-specification

Functional and non-functional requirements are “translated” into system characteristics. This is no straight forward process but involves interpretation, technical know-how and creativity. A deep understanding and appreciation of user needs is a necessary condition for the acceptance of a product by a diversity of users.

Sample questions...

How do we decide on tools, technologies, and procedures to be used? Do we follow economic, ecological, personal, or other interests? (reflection aspect: values) To what extent can social diversity be integrated in our concept? What aspects do we leave out? (reflection aspect: concept of the human)

...and their use:
Convey User Values to Technologists

There is no formal procedure to “translate” requirements into system concepts. The previously defined requirements form the basis for all decisions that have to be taken here. Any prioritisation of requirements should be mirrored by concepts. Thus, the consideration of gender/diversity aspects will depend on their prioritisation and the extent to which developers are kept aware of them.

In a smart home project that they characterise as “technology driven”, Haines et al. (2007) chose to use cultural probes in order to get across user values to their technical project partners. Cultural probes are an ethnographically inspired self-observation and self-documentation technique that may open a window to people’s daily life and facilitate participatory design (Jarke & Maaß 2018). People got seven missions to take pictures of things, places and technologies in their homes (e.g., what they value most, how they share information, technology they (do not) like to use). Haines et al. clustered the pictures in various ways and presented them to their technical project partners. The idea they wanted to convey was that – to be accepted and valued by users - products have to meet emotional needs in addition to functional needs. The technologists realised that their quite diverse target group did not view or use technology as they themselves do.

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