Formulating requirements

In design trajectories the formulation of design requirements is a crucial phase. In the design requirements the formulation takes place of what a product or process will facilitate for the users: function, sequences of action, when and how feedback is generated, what elements are traced and/or stored, at what scale and speed the designed product or process will have to function, what searching and matching is provided for, how the product or process will interact with the environment, what safety measures will be embedded, what look and feel the product or process will generate.

Particularly in environments where technology plays a crucial role, the conversation about design requirements is complex because a variety of skills are needed around the table. Hardware, software, interaction design and graphic design each have their own language. So do investors, entrepreneurs, marketing people, sales people and last but not least, and the users. As a producer or a project manager one has to overcome the incommensurability between these disciplines. One has to be able to translate, build bridges, use boundary objects and create a perspective for everyone involved. This formulation of a perspective, the 3D point in the 2D network (see chapter 4), creates the social and economic perspective in which a product or process will function.

It is in the formulation of the perspective of the design requirements that the notion of YUTPA may contribute to the conversation. As pointed out in chapter 1, this study wishes to contribute to the conversation and the debates about design so it will be more capable of taking responsibility for its effects. It wants to contribute to the language of deep design (Lunenfeld 2004). By clarifying how natural presence, mediated presence and witnessed presence are orchestrated, a more deliberate design will be made possible. By formulating what kind of YUTPA one wants to make, one clarifies how trust and truth will be negotiated in the product or process to be designed.

It will require more work than can be facilitated by this study, to translate the findings of this research into a useful tool for designers and an instrument for the conversation about design between different stakeholders involved. By formulating questions that have to be answered in the process of formulating the design requirements, the insights in this study may become accessible and useful for designers. On the basis of the structural formulation of certain questions that have to be answered in a certain process (as in research, in project management, in assessment trajectories) a methodology can be created. In this sense YUTPA can be developed into a methodology for design processes when further research is facilitated.