Mini Project 2 – Requirements Gathering & Analysis


Primary Research Technique Selection Rationale

IDEO method cards

IDEO Method Cards

[Last Accessed:1st Dec 2011]

I selected “5 whys”, from the IDEO method cards (IDEO) which I extended by saying 5 whys, with 5 participants, in 5 minutes each.

The method was attractive because:

  • It was non–invasive for the participants, feeling like a natural conversation with the interviewer
  • Reduces the cognitive load on respondents, they didn’t feel they had any work to do
  • Away from a computer screen, freeing me up to go to where participants were, making it easier to find willing respondents
  • Enabled me to gain deep insights into participants underlying thoughts and feelings, free from the constraints that come from critiquing the current Sunsave website
  • Does not require artist talent, cost or the feeling of invasiveness of some type of ethnographic studies

Implementation, The Test Run

To confirm the “5 Whys” was a good technique, I practised on my father, aged 75. It worked, successfully delivering two useful insights.

He answered the questions quite briefly. Real insights came from questions 4 and 5: for his age group warm weather is really beneficial for health and that he could be enticed to book again if lower prices were available. These finding can be translated into a real content requirement of the website ( providing information of the benefits of being in a warmer climate and the functional requirement of enticing him back with, for example loyal discounts.

Choice of user group for main study

A group of ladies of similar age (30’s) and income levels kindly gave up their time to become my 5 participants. All of them are primary stakeholders because they regularly buy holidays.


I used a Digital Camera (Panasonic Lumix) in video mode but covered the lens as to be least intrusive (Rogers et al 2011,p.227) with the participants being mostly unaware of its existence, reducing the Hawthorne effect a minimum.
Interviews were conducted in a quiet room in one of the participant’s house. In the interest of security at each interview there was another lady present.
I asked each participant to sign a consent form (copy here). That helped to clarify the nature of the interview and that the relationship, between interviewer (me) and participant is clear and professional (Rogers et al 2011,p.224).
Before I started I told them the goals of the study, what will happen to the findings and where I will publish them, the privacy of their information meaning I would not publish their names in any public domain.

User Journey

“I chose that destination because it was
somewhere we could fly to from Bristol”

lady participant iconParticipant 5

One participant started by looking at which destinations you could fly to from Bristol on the dates they wanted and then booked hotels separately.

“We wanted somewhere hot and not too expensive”

lady participant iconParticipant 2

Two used a similar process of local airport plus dates first then deciding on a destination then searching on Trip Adviser for hotels. They placed a lot of weight on reviews. One started by using the Trip Adviser budget tool to help select their destination and hotel.

Four participants booked flights and hotel separately. Only one booked a package, they started with the destination – Cuba, then looked at the tour operators who flew there. They selected Virgin due to the price and reputation for quality.

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Insights – What’s important to this user group?

Key insights gained that could be translated into specific requirements

  1. Holidays are precious, to ensure they had a great time, they all tried to reduce risk of booking a bad holiday and not getting value for money:
    1. Two searched on Trip Adviser to see what others had said
    2. One person booked with Virgin based on their reputation
    3. One person went back to a location they had been before
    4. One person looked at the pictures posted up of hotels
  2. Because holidays are so important, they were prepared to put the time in to conduct their own research, very active, involved decision making process
  3. They like to search on different devices
  4. Dates, and airport and/or budget was the constraining factor or decided first then destinations was researched.


Functional Requirements

  1. Searchable Reviews of destinations, hotels, travel operators e.g. if JD Power has done any customer satisfaction surveys of travel operators, put the results clearly
  2. “Clever searches” that answer consumers basic need questions including:
    1. “Where can I fly from Bristol w/c 20th June”
    2. “Where can I go for 2 weeks for £300”


Data Requirements
  1. View multiple pictures and video‘s of hotels – so they can see with their own eyes the quality of hotel accommodation
Environmental Requirements
  1. Site must display on different platforms e.g. Smartphones

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Participant short transcripts

N.B. – The following are not full transcript of the participants replies but simply the important points(Rogers et al 2011,p.227), in my opinion, lifted from the recordings of the interviews. The interview sound files in MP3 format are made available below each shortened transcript.

Trial participant questions and answers
TimeWhat was said
Why did do you need to go on holiday?
to have a rest
Why do you need a rest?
Worked hard all year
Why don’t you rest at home?
change of scenary, warmer weather
Why do you like the warmer weather?
Because it gives me energy, and I don’t get cramp, gets rid of aches and pains, cold and flu
Why don’t you go away for longer?
Money, too expensive and sometimes the flights aren’t at convenient times

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Participant 1
TimeWhat was said
0.01Why did you choose your last holiday?
0.13flights were a convenient time
0.18reviews having some bad ones shows honesty
0.34more useful (reviews)
0.36trust it(reviews)
0.44have written reviews
1.25can decide whether a negative review is important
1.40Why did you choose a particular website?
1.49smart phone AP
1.53save time if using a smart phone AP
2.01spoke to friends about APs
2.18smartphone AP actually influences decision
2.22Why is it important for it(the travel website) to be on a smartphone?
2.30saves time, more likely to choose that website

Having trouble with the player? Try:- Participant 1 mp3 sound file

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Participant 2
TimeWhat was said
0.20Why did you choose your last holiday?
0.22not expensive
0.30shopped around
0.38booked flights and hotels separate
0.40Why is price the most important thing to you?
1.20best you can get for your money
1.30drew up a shortlist
1.33looked for the cheapest flight
1.47looked at Trip Advisor and
1.56had a budget
2.05Why are other people’s reveiws important to you?
2.17value for money
2.30value for money
2.56accurate reviews
3.20Why did you choose to do everything separately with the flights and hotels rather than a package company?
3.30more in control
3.37choose exact flight times
4.05independance is nice
4.50value for money
4.57price range
5.33Is there a mistrust of travel companies?
5.47don’t always think you get the best holiday with them
5.51has shoddy accommodation in the past
5.57didn’t do my research
6.00that put me off doing it again.

Having trouble with the player? Try:- Participant 2 mp3 sound file

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Participant 3
TimeWhat was said
0.02Why did you choose your last holiday?
0.14bars, clubs, culture
0.16not expensive
0.02Why did you choose your particular holiday company?
0.30not holiday company
0.36chose Easyjet and booked hotel directly
0.38package more expensive
0.45Why choose to buy it all separately rather than using a package holiday company?
0.54package more expensive
1.09little point in paying the extra to a company
1.18Why did you go back to the same place as you did before?
1.41wasted a lot of time before
1.48big group and the more you have in a group the more difficult it is to make decisions
1.58cheap or as expensive as you like
2.24Why did you choose the hotel that you did?
2.26chose because of friends referral
2.54brilliant price
2.58right location
3.12Why did you choose easyjet?
3.14because of cost
3.18cheaper than other airlines
3.20Why is a local airline more important?
3.50save money when travelling from Bristol

Having trouble with the player? Try:- Participant 3 mp3 sound file

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Participant 4
TimeWhat was said
0.02Why did you choose your last holiday?
0.05Cuba, culturally different
0.10Why is that interesting to you?
0.15not experienced a place that is communist
0.25Why did you book with that particular company?
0.26good reputation
0.42Why do you think they have a good reputation?
0.50advertising very good and the prices are competitive
0.56Why does the advertising attract you?
1.04up to date
1.07quality of service
1.11Why do you think that?
1.19Air stewards and stewardesses look after everybody
1.30why is service more important to you over price?
1.44important to go with an airline that will give me the service that I want

Having trouble with the player? Try:- Participant 4 mp3 sound file

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Participant 5
TimeWhat was said
0.02Why did you choose your last holiday?
0.10Bristol flight
0.154-5 days duration
0.20did’t want a long flight
0.46Checked out what transport was like
1.05Why did you choose the hotel that you did?
1.20Spent a lot of time looking
1.30Hotel near the station
1.53Hotel looked nice in the pictures
2.18Discarded hotels because of their decor
2.24Hotel in a good location
2.42Why did you use a particular set of tools to make your hotel choice?
2.53used this site a lot and really liked it
3.01nice interface to look at pictures
3.14the pictures
3.15see what the pictures look like
3.24looked on map for location
3.27looked on
3.30to see what was said about them
3.322nd step
3.41top hotels don’t always get representative reviews first, second
4.45Why did you look online rather than go to a travel agent?
5.03booked flight and hotels separately for flexibility
5.24looked at pictures myself
5.38travel agent will sell you what has the highest commission
5.46form my own view
6.10didn’t think to look at travel agents, looked online first
6.50Why did you choose the flights?
7.00local airport, no travelling before flight
7.35flight times important
7.42Why did you look on the computer and not on your mobile phone?
7.50pictures are really important
8.10map interface works better

Having trouble with the player? Try:- Participant 5 mp3 sound file

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