When we report to interested parties as part of our sales activities that end users of our customers hardly ever need training, we often receive sceptical looks. For this reason, we conducted a study with students at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in the winter semester 2018/2019 to prove the intuitiveness of ReqSuite® RM.
In the winter semester 2019/2020 we repeated this study in the context of the lecture “Requirements Engineering” at the TU Kaiserslautern. 27 students were asked to carry out typical RM activities, starting with the creation of requirements, the maintenance of relationships, and the management of baselines and views, using a structured work script with 40 steps. The students had previously attended a lecture module on requirements management, but had never worked with an RM tool themselves. There was also no presentation and training of our ReqSuite® in advance; the students were virtually “thrown in at the deep end” and were supposed to first familiarize themselves with the software.
In total, a period of 90 minutes was available for familiarization and processing of the tasks. The majority of the participants were able to complete all tasks within this time frame. In a feedback questionnaire, the students were then asked to rate ReqSuite® RM on a scale of “very easy”, “rather easy”, “rather difficult”, “very difficult” and to give a free text evaluation of their perceived strengths and weaknesses.
Almost all students stated that finding functionalities in the tool was easy, or even very easy. Even better was the simplicity of performing RE/RM tasks; here even 40% of the participants chose the answer “very easy” (see Figure 1).
In the free text question “What do you like about ReqSuite®” almost all students mentioned usability features such as “simplicity”, “easy to use”, “intuitive”, “easy to understand” or “clear” and only a few participants highlighted functional aspects.
Consequently, the experiment once again confirmed our claim that ReqSuite® RM is an intuitive yet powerful RM tool. Although the functionalities of an RM tool should have been in the foreground during the lecture exercise, the question of what the tool liked about it was mainly answered by the simple and intuitive usability. This certifies that the usability of ReqSuite® is something that even first-time and inexperienced users will immediately notice.
Nevertheless, we will of course also take the critical comments as an incentive to optimise our ReqSuite® even further.