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I'm doing a small project for the company a friend of mine works at. The project is a tool for doing Quality function deployment using the House of quality method.

As part of the initial planning phase of the project, they want me to perform the same (House of Quality) method on the project, in some kind of meta way :D

I think the idea is great, but I'm struggling to come up with suitable technical parameters for the project.

So far I have the following customer requirements, with the importance in parenthesis:

  • (5) Web based
  • (5) Multi user
  • (4) Real time (changes at one client should show up "immediately" at other clients)
  • (3) Modify-and-commit mode
  • (2) Trace source of customer wants (linking to surveys, etc.)

That's the "voice of the customer" part, now for the "voice of the company" ("the company" being me as a developer). These are the technical parameters, i.e. measurable properties of the product.

I'm having a real hard time coming up with anything measurable that is related to the customer requirements. If I was building something physical, say a car for example, there would be stuff like weight, seconds from 0-60, miles per gallon, etc.

An app can't be "slightly web based" or "very web based" for example. Maximum number of users is a theoretically valid parameter, but it doesn't make much sense - if it's multi user capable, there is usually no limit of the number of users (for all practical purposes at least).

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I can think of a few things that may be relevant:

  • Number of clicks to achieve some common task (also hints at how intuitive the interface is)
  • Size of page download (often overlooked because of faster internet)
  • Time waiting to complete some common actions (waiting for database commits, etc)

You might be best of to consider what sort of UX/Usability problems you'll have in your specific application and try to measure those.

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