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Improving the identification of hedonic quality in user requirements - a controlled experiment

: Maier, A.; Berry, D.M.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; IEEE Computer Society:
IEEE 25th International Requirements Engineering Conference, RE 2017. Proceedings : 4-8 September 2017, Lisbon, Portugal
Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society Conference Publishing Services (CPS), 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5386-3191-1
ISBN: 978-1-5386-3192-8
International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE) <25, 2017, Lisbon>
Fraunhofer IESE ()

Context and Motivation: Systematically engineering a good user experience (UX) into a computer-based system under development demands that the user requirements of the system reflect all needs, including emotional, of all stakeholders. User requirements address two different types of qualities: Pragmatic qualities (PQs), that address system functionality and usability, and hedonic qualities (HQs) that address the stakeholder's psychological well-being. Studies show that users tend to describe such satisfying UXes mainly with PQs, and that some users seem to believe that they are describing a HQ when they are actually describing a PQ.
Question/Problem: The problem is to see if classification of any user requirement as PQ-related or HQ-related is difficult, and if so, why.
Principal Ideas/Results: We conducted a controlled experiment in which twelve requirements-engineering and UX professionals, hereinafter called 'classifiers' classified each of 105 user requirements as PQ- related or HQ-related. The experiment shows that neither (1) a classifier's involvement in the project from which the requirements came nor (2) the classifier's use of a detailed model of the qualities in addition to the standard definitions of 'PQ' and 'HQ' has a positive effect on the consistency of the classifier's classification with that of others.
Contribution: The experiment revealed that classification of user requirements is a lot harder than initially assumed.