Monday, July 25, 2005

Neurorequirements

You may have heard of neuromarketing. Neuromarketers analyze subjects' brain activity to determine the best ways to market products to them. Neuromarketing enables us to "see" what a subject is thinking and feeling rather than rely on the subject to report it truthfully.

I am coining a new term: "neurorequirements". Neurorequirements are requirements formulated in terms of the brain states of users.

Product managers strive to formulate requirements in precise, measurable terms. As I mentioned in my article, "How to Guarantee Product Failure", an ease of use requirement might:
  • Specify a typical user’s prerequisite skills and experience
  • Place a limit on the number of user gestures (keystrokes, mouse clicks, etc.) it should take to accomplish a functional task
  • Place a limit on the amount of time that it will take a typical user to perform the functional task
As neuroscience progresses, it may at some point be practical to formulate requirements in terms of the emotional states of users. For example, we may be able to add ease of use requirements that limit the amount of frustration a typical user feels when using the product, as measured by the user's neural responses.

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