Universiteit van Amsterdam

MSc. Software Engineering

November 2014

Requirements Engineering

Week 2 Interviews

In this week's assignment the task of doing interviews was suggested again, and this time the objectives we should aim for were made more specific (as it was expected, after a workshop on this topic).

In this week's session of interviews the team (interviewers) was asked to focus the interviews on possible improvements to the ways people read/write/learn. One of the interviews had to done applying the technique explained on the paper "Apprenticing with the customer" and this was probably the main source of interesting findings during this experiment so far.

Interviews reviewed:

This week we applied a new technique, by triggering the interviewee about his/her last read textbook we tried to make them refresh their memories about reading textbooks. We started of the interview by asking the interviewee to tell us about his/her last read textbook. The technique really helped us, after this we could also frame other questions we had in the context of their experience with their last textbook. The results of the two ‘normal’ interviews where not very groundbreaking, the interviewees claimed not liking eTextbooks because of tactile annoyances and eye strain.

However the apprenticing interview gave us some new insights, the interviewee read the starting passages of a book she had to read for a literature study. After a couple of minutes we asked her about her opinions and experiences with reading. We could notice that the fact that we had emerged her in the context and environment of reading, made her think deeper and differently about our questions. One of the answers she had to why she liked ‘real’ books better, was the way she could link certain sections of the book to a physical position, which helped her remember these sections better. An answer we did not yet receive from any other interviewees.

Interview 1 (Matthisk):

-Not a frequent reader;

-Was requested to focus on the reading of her last textbook experience, says it was good;

-She is a normal speed reader (reads aloud in his mind);

-Says that physical/emotional condition influences the way she reads;

-The preferred environment is a quiet without distractions;

-Thinks she is a fast reader, despite reading aloud and not applying techniques, and previously leading us to believe she was a normal speed reader;

-Frequently takes notes and writes summaries;

-Cannot answer precisely about rereading;

-Says she prefers physical textbook because can take notes easily;

-Says she doesn't like eBooks, she likes to hold the book in her hands;

Interview 2 (Daniel):

-Apparently  remembers clearly last read textbook;

-The environment does not have to be quiet (e.g. can be done with music);

-Needs always a support for taking notes;

-Says that is not easily distracted, but needs to reread sometimes;

-Reads aloud in his mind (is aware of improvement possibilities);

-Does not see himself as a top speed reader;

-Does not like to reading at the screen (the only pain)

-Takes notes on a separate paper and likes this process;

-About sources of distractions, says that he is not frequently distracted although only sometimes can read long periods of time (in the question the mentioned period was 3 hours).

Interview 3 (Matthisk):

- In this interview we applied the concepts of apprenticeship and we interviewed someone who had to start reading a book (suggested in one of her classes) and agreed to let us record her while doing it;

- Describes her experience on getting the first taste on the read: reads the back cover and tries to make a summary of what to expect based on this;

- The interviewer was very cautious about not disturbing and to minimize the influence on the environment (which was already heavily influenced by the presence of a camera);

- She likes a quiet environment, She can describe how she gets aware of a distracted behaviour while reading: reads slower, thinks about the surrounding environment;

- She likes to read and is a frequent reader, likes better to hold the book (the navigation between pages is better). The physical book format helps to associate content with a physical place (e.g. a page) which is harder to happen on a digital book.