User Needs Analysis

Tom Brinck, Darren Gergle, Scott D. Wood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the methods for understanding the user needs early in the product development cycle and how these methods can help user experience practitioners understand workflow, improve efficiency, and eliminate weak areas that cause hindrance. User needs analysis sets the foundation for the entire design process. The principal purpose of this stage of design is to define the design goals and constraints and develop an understanding of the audience and what they do. User needs analysis involves four primary activities including investigation, analysis, specification, and documentation. The functional specs are referenced throughout the design and production of the site to verify that the system being produced corresponds to the necessary functionality. Several forms of background research are used to uncover user needs such as surveys, scenarios, competitive analysis, interviews, and focus groups. These give a better idea about true user profile, user needs, and user preferences. Task analysis can also be performed to specify how the information and functionality found in the requirements analysis will be used. In addition to codifying user procedures, task analysis can also be used as a design tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUser Experience Re-Mastered
Subtitle of host publicationYour Guide to Getting the Right Design
Number of pages50
ISBN (Electronic)9780123751140
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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