Brenda Laurel in her book, Design Research has explained the concept of user requirements. According to her user requirements are generated in the requirements phase alongside marketing and technical requirements and focus directly on the users of the product their behaviors, goals, and needs. Their function is to make sure that business and marketing goals are aligned with end user goals and needs. Collect and Analyze market research begins by gathering and absorbing existing market research. The research focuses on general trends and patterns rather than the goals and needs of specific users. It helps in getting insights into expected usage pattern of a product and how to create targeted messages that will appeal the specific market segment. Various types are:
1. Demographics: Age,gender,income,ethnicity
2. Technographics: Technological characteristics of the targetted audience such as a computer, further cell phones, wireless devices used by the target market.
3. Focus Groups: Capture feedback about market concepts gather from interview groups.
4. Survey: Gather quantifiable feedback about market concepts from a broader audience than a focus group.
Identify market segments refers to prioritizing market segments that help to focus our design research and our persona development. In this key stakeholders, interviews may also provide a sense of which customers the executives intend to focus on. Further said that Conducting design research before embarking on independant design research, absorbed everything you can regarding the target market, the customers and the competition because your research will be more focused and your credibilty will increase. It also has various types that are:
1. Product evaluations: This evaluation is of your company’s existing product and competitors products are often useful to get an overview of the field.
2. Usability testing: This can give you invaluable design insights. One-on-one testing asks targetted users to perform specific, primary tasks you w2ill be able to see if the users cognitive models matches product model.
3. Stakeholder interviews: The interviews with the key executives and subject matter experts are often a quick way to understand the product strategic direction.
4. User interviews: Provides directional design input. You are not trying to get the user to tell you how or what to design rather you are trying to elicit their goals and needs by focusing on how they perform their current tasks independent of the specific product being developed.
Synthesize the research into the user requirements is necessary to synthesize the data into a form that can be used by entire product development team. Further she said that persona developement can identify user needs which are name, photograph, demographic characteristcs, technographic characteristics and behavioral characteristics. The personas provide a common understanding of whom the product is designed for.