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Customer requirements play an essential role in product development. Accurate definition and assessment of customer needs and wants form the basis for product offerings. Functional requirements have always been central to product definition, and several methods are available to determine required function. Emphasis on product usability and the end-user interface is continuing to increase as computer products are more widely used. This paper describes a requirements-gathering methodology that focuses on usability and user requirements. The Customer Requirements and Task Specification method was developed over the last six years to meet the growing need for more precise user requirements. Each of the major steps is discussed, as is the role of computer-supported cooperative work techniques. Summary findings from a broad cross section of customers are presented.
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