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  • The Sailboat Exercise as a Method for User Understanding and Requirements Gathering

    Paula Alexandra Silva

    Chapter from the book: Loizides, F et al. 2020. Human Computer Interaction and Emerging Technologies: Adjunct Proceedings from the INTERACT 2019 Workshops.

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    To design digital products and services that truly empower end-users requires that design and development teams involve end-users early and throughout the design process. However, regardless of the wealth of methods available to Human-Computer Interaction designers, to identify tools that are both intuitive to use and allow for the active engagement of end-users, namely though co-design activities, is hardly ever easy. To identify a simple and straightforward method can be challenging especially when the end -user group are older adults. This paper proposes an adaptation of an exercise, traditionally used in agile retrospectives – the sailboat exercise – here modified and tailored to be used as a co-design generative tool for user understanding and requirements gathering. In short, the method leverages the analogy of a sailboat, and its surrounding factors, and combines it with a set of prompt questions, to create a shared understanding between the end-users and the members of the design team and to support identification of users’ goals, desires, challenges and frustrations.

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    Silva, P. 2020. The Sailboat Exercise as a Method for User Understanding and Requirements Gathering. In: Loizides, F et al (eds.), Human Computer Interaction and Emerging Technologies. Cardiff: Cardiff University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18573/book3.d

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on May 7, 2020