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Contextual Requirements Elicitation for Mobile Social Software

Final Report Summary - CORE-MOSOSO (Contextual requirements elicitation for mobile social software)

Social software such as Facebook is an exciting and important phenomenon in today's software and business world. It is weaving into the fabric of daily life faster than expected and has a major influence on communication and cooperation within social networks and groups. The widespread use of social software triggers new research and application challenges as well as new opportunities. In addition to a new degree of digitalisation with regard to human contacts, the growing use of social software on mobile devices (e.g. cell phones) also creates a need for adaptation in software development. Research on social software engineering is particularly relevant for disciplines such as requirements engineering (RE) that address design factors critical to the success of mobile social applications.

Within the Marie EU's People / Marie Curie Programme (Intra- European Fellowship), at the Centre for HCI Design, Norbert Seyff was investigating new methods and tools which would influence the successful planning, development and subsequent utilisation of mobile social software. The output of this project is iRequire, a tool-supported requirements discovery method for mobile social software. System end-users can document their own needs allowing these to flow into further software development. The tool-supported method considers recent trends in social software including mobility, location-awareness and service-centric system design. More specifically, this newly developed tool makes use of context sensing capabilities provided by modern mobile devices (e.g. detection of location). It supports the on-site identification of contextual information and can be used to inform and enrich requirements discovery. For example, this information can be used to enrich scenario-based requirements elicitation workshops by providing more domain specific knowledge and context-information to participants.

It is envisioned that, in the future, tools for on-site requirements and context elicitation will be used in several disciplines. The developed tool generally allows users to document needs, something not solely relevant to the field of mobile social software. We plan to concentrate on the exploration of the tool's potential for uses in business process reengineering activities.