About User Requirements Gathering

When building a new app or tool, experts from College of Medicine Research Information Technology will meet with representative users of that system to gather user requirements. In these conversations, RIT uncovers additional information about the environment people will be using the system in, their expectations for the system and the current challenges they face. Getting input from these people at the beginning of the process ensures the finished product meets their needs.

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In a co-design session, participants use a toolkit created by RIT to describe what they think the finished system should look like.

Purpose

Make decisions with data

Use input from users to ground specifications in data

Prioritize feature development

Learn what's important to users and what they can live without

Avoid costly
mistakes

Getting user input early prevents redesign and maximizes engagement

RIT's approach

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Interviews

When RIT meets with a potential user of a system, we ask questions that prompt the user to describe their current practices and challenges. Understanding how a new system will fit into a person's current practice is key to a successful design. From the qualitative data gathered, the interviewers outline system specifications, describing how each proposed feature will benefit the user.

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Co-design sessions

Co-design sessions allow a subject matter expert to participate in the development process, giving them a different set of tools to explain what they require from a system. RIT can create and lead co-design sessions that reveal necessary features for a system, along with the deeper motivations, emotions and purpose behind those requirements.

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