Should User Interface (UI) Be a Part of “Requirements”?

Just a quick post to address a question that seems to come up quite frequently.

Should “User Interface” (UI)  be a part of requirements? Do UI specs constitute requirements?

Here is my quick answer to this question…

Does “UI” Meet the Definition of a Requirement?

Here is the definition of a requirement from my earlier post:

A requirement is a capability that a product must possess or something a product must do in order to ultimately satisfy a customer need.

In my opinion, User Interface (UI) is without a doubt a capability that a product possesses. As a matter of fact, it might be one of the most important capabilities a product possesses.

As a result – I strongly believe that UI should be an integral part of the requirements.

A lot of software companies tend to build their apps first, then slap on a UI. In this model, UI is usually not a part of the requirements specifications. However, this model is quite flawed and leads to apps that are extremely hard-to-use.

A far better approach is start with UI specs from day-1 and make them an integral part of your requirements. By the way, this is how we do it at Accompa.

Editor’s Note:
Interested in an affordable, enterprise-quality software to help you manage requirements in a better way? Check out FREE 30-Day trial of Accompa or Sign Up for a Demo.

I'm your author, Michael Shrivathsan, an expert in product management with successful experience at several innovative companies in Silicon Valley, USA over the past two decades. I'm also a USPTO patent recipient. For my day job, I'm the VP of Product Management at Accompa, we make the popular requirements management software used by Product Management, Business Analysis, and related teams.

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