Department of Computer Science

User Requirements Document (URD)

This document describes the problem from the user's point of view.It briefly describes the problem domain, e.g.. a psychology experiment or a small business accounting package. Then the document delivers a simple and exact description of the problem. After the problem description, the user states exactly what he/she would like the software system to do. While this may seem to indicate a user interface, it is better to focus on the tasks to be solved rather than the interface required to solve them. However the user may require a specific interface, e.g.. a GUI rather than a command line interface. The crux of this document is to identify what the user requires of the program, and not what the user requires of the programmer. This document furnishes the programmer with a formal description of the problem. Ideally, this document would be written by someone in marketing who has talked with a customer; not by a programmer. The most important thing to remember is that this document describes the functionality required of the program.

The URD has:

  • user's view of the problem
  • brief description of the problem domain
  •  complete description of the problem
  • what is expected from a software solution
  • what is not expected from a software solution

The URD does not have:

  • programmer's point of view
  • programming jargon or technical details
  • description of programming languages or environments unless it is a specific user requirement
  •  description of the solution. This is not a design document. We only want requirements here

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