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Requirements fixation

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Published
Publication date2014
Host publicationICSE 2014 Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherACM
Pages895-906
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781450327565
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Eventthe 36th International Conference - Hyderabad, India, United Kingdom
Duration: 31/05/20147/06/2014

Conference

Conferencethe 36th International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period31/05/147/06/14

Conference

Conferencethe 36th International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period31/05/147/06/14

Abstract

There is a broad consensus that understanding system desiderata (requirements) and design creativity are both important for software engineering success. However, little research has addressed the relationship between design creativity and the way requirements are framed or presented. This paper therefore aims to investigate the possibility that the way desiderata are framed or presented can affect design creativity. Forty two participants took part in a randomized control trial where one group received desiderata framed as “requirements” while the other received desiderata framed as “ideas”. Participants produced design concepts which were judged for originality. Participants who received requirements framing produced significantly less original designs than participants who received ideas framing (Mann-Whitney U=116.5, p=0.004). We conclude that framing desiderata as “requirements” may cause requirements fixation where designers’ preoccupation with satisfying explicit requirements inhibits their creativity.