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Thread: "Screen Specifications" vs. "Use Case"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    2

    "Screen Specifications" vs. "Use Case"

    If you want to capture the behavior of a system as a user navigates through a series of screens to perform some specific function, do you use a traditional use case (i.e. primarily text and various alternate flows) or should the behaviors be captured via some other means (screen specifications)?

    This question may not have a right or wrong answer. But, I would like to hear what other folks have to say on this topic.

    Thanks,

    - SlightlyConfused

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    2
    I am having a similar problem. However, my first question is should we make use-case's based on screen shots in the first place? shouldnt this be other way round? i.e., first design/requirement capture using Use-Case, and then some implementation (in this case say, screen shots).

    Thus, if i understand your question (and mine!) you should have already created the use-case (lets assume you had). Then you/your team developed the screen shots. Now if you wish to capture the behavior of system you should use screen shots which will complement the use-case alread available.

    however, i am not sure. Others may educate us on this with their views.

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Thanks for your comments. I agree with your point about use cases preceding screen specs. However, I'm walking into a project that was ongoing, and so am walking in the middle of the movie.

    Apparently, analysts having been using mocked-up screen shots as a tool to solicit requirements from the business folks. I have no objection to this technique. But, it seems the screen interaction discussions have bled into the use cases.

    I think I have a handle on how to address the problem. I'll need to be very disciplined about what goes into the use cases, admitting requirements while filtering out references to screen widgets.

    Thanks,

    NoLongerConfused

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    8
    You'll want to take the approach of creating goal-directed use cases . The screenshots / prototypes can be mapped back to those use cases.

    Even if you're entering a project in the middle, you should do this at least as a validation of the approach. You will likely find some screens are missing, and some are unneeded. At a minimum, you will get better insight into the sequence through which people will walk the screens, and be able to make informed decisions about how to improve the usability.

    Scott Sehlhorst, President, Tyner Blain LLC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2

    UML diagram

    I have the same problem. Isn't there a UML diagram avaible for supporting the design of user-interface diagrams and their navigation?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    Great UML Resource

    Scott Ambler has an AWESOME page showing the different UML 2.0 diagrams. http://www.agilemodeling.com/essays/umlDiagrams.htm
    You should definitely check it out
    Last edited by sehlhorst; 02-21-2007 at 12:43 AM. Reason: forgot title

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