The Hidden Requirements: Exploring Emotions with Placebos

The way we feel is important!

All that we think, do, or say is influenced, to some degree, by emotions. Many successful businesses and people recognize the importance of emotional considerations.

The way we feel is important and should be considered!

All software is intended to help solve some problem, and both problems and solutions evoke emotions. Software requirements are simply wants or needs, which often stem from core emotions. Research shows that emotions can affect the acceptance or rejection of software.

The way we feel about software is important and should be considered!

A placebo is designed and used primarily to evoke emotions. Things like sugar pills, false elevator door close buttons, and fake office thermostats aim “to please”, rather than have any other physical effects. Placebo requirements focus on emotions. And so, considering software through the lens of a placebo can help emphasize emotional considerations, and provide a valuable perspective on bugs, ethical design, and much more.

In this session, I support the claims above, suggest some methods to elicit and test emotional requirements, and finally, use placebos as a lens to view software design and testing. Using presentations, demonstrations, and interactive discussions and exercises, we collaboratively explore why “The way we feel about software is important and should be considered!”.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Talk

This is a 45-minute version of a 1-hour talk, or half-day workshop.

The talk consists of: A claim, support of my claim (via an appeal to authority and emotion with quotes; a deep consideration of "the purpose of software"; field research; a study of requirements, wants/needs), and actions to take based on my claim (how to design, develop, and test emotional requirements; and how to use placebos to gain insight into emotional requirements).

Learning Outcome

A much deeper understanding of 1) why we make software, 2) what requirements are, and 3) what requirements are typically neglected.

Ways to act on this.

Target Audience

PMs, BAs, Devs, Testers, and anyone else that contributes to making software

Prerequisites for Attendees

No prereqs

schedule Submitted 11 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  11 months ago
    reply Reply

    Damian,

    When I read your proposal, I don't get a strong sense of who it's for and what value they will get from it. And, I'm afraid, neither will potential attendees.

    The abstract is the place where you sell your session to the right prospective attendees. Help them recognize themselves and their situation, and tell them what benefits they'll get by attending. Give them enough information about the content to convince them that they'll get that benefit.

    I'm also completely in the dark about what the content will be. Your outline/structure talks about your view of what you'll say and your hopes for how it will be received, but doesn't tell reviewers what it is.

    The outline/structure is the place where you sell your session to the reviewers. Help them recognize that you'll deliver on your abstract. Give them details about the content and the way that you'll present it to convince them that you'll do a good job.

    See also https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1028714041349263360.html for an independent description of submitting a successful proposal.

    - George, AgileDC Program Chair


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