Deriving requirements that satisfy the needs and desires of users is crucial in software engineering. However, to be able to specify these requirements, potential users must be identified and perhaps prioritised first. In organisational and commercial settings, users often have well-defined roles and responsibilities tied to specific work-flows, which are exploited in requirements engineering methodologies. However, in more social settings, such as platforms for enhancing social interaction, there are a range of non-specific users with ill-defined roles.
This paper proposes a novel approach to segment potential and target users based on system goals, adopting customer segmentation concepts adopted from the field of marketing. The authors evaluate the appropriateness of the proposed approach on two different case studies. Results indicate the proposed method is a suitable approach for finding potential and target users and that user segmentation gives system analysts a better insight for requirements elicitation.
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