Direct Observation

Another form of approach in requirement analysis in the software development is direct observation. Direct observation involves observation of users who are using the product, which is the software in this case. In HCi community, direct observation is widely accepted, since it is essential in understanding the task in a situation.  Direct observation as an approach to requirement analysis is inexpensive, and it is a valuable information-gathering tool. It helps the engineer or the analyst, since he or she gains insight about the actual things that are taking place, not just what gets documented or explained.

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However, direct observation is tedious and uninteresting to the analyst or the engineer; also users may be restful because of the constant observation. Therefore, the presence of an observer may affect the observations. Some users may be uncomfortable in the presence of the observer, and this will alter the results.

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During direct observation, only the critical events get recorded, and the other events are excluded during the procedure. This helps mainly in decision-making, since only the critical issues and problems are solved; thus, it saves time.

Direct observation may also involve the technique of apprenticing, whereby the engineer conducts the tasks that users of the system will be doing. This is usually advantageous to the analyst, since he or she gains critical insight into the task required of the new system. However, the technique may be difficult for the analyst, but if he or she is in an integral part of the development team, then the technique can be a helpful tool for understanding what task a system can support.

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It helps the analyst gather information on how the users use the software, and know whether it is effective to them. This helps the analyst in reviewing the software defectives, and in the end, they are dealt with to improve the efficiency of the product to its consumers. (Grady 2006)

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