The Communication Studio


Every design project encompasses several Tasks, their related Use Cases and the many Business Rules that define them.

We capture that info in the Business Requirements.

Things to Do
Describe "what is". Refer to existing norms and standards when appropriate.

Things to Avoid
Avoid telling "how to". Make no reference to specific buttons, dialog boxes or other on-screen controls.

Identify the "WHY"


The first section provides an overview of the structure of the Functional Requirements document itself, the contents of the rest of the document, how it is organized and its intended audience.

Ownership: Product Manager, Client, Market Specialist, Business Analyst


This section defines the environmental conditions that have shaped the product. These may include:

    • History
    • Market Forces
    • Business Case
    • Legacy Issues
    • Competition
    • Perceived customer motivation

Purpose and Scope

This section provides a general description of the product. This may include:

    • Name of the product to be produced (version )
    • Perquisites and dependencies on previous products
    • Target audience
    • Anticipated impact

Reference Materials

This section provides references to all other publications (books, technical manuals, standard documents) that are applicable to the Functional Requirements document, including the sources from which the references may be obtained.


This section is absolutely critical to the product development process, as it provides all Project Team members with a common ground description and context for the product, the environment, the business case, the critical issues and the major players.

Ownership: Product Manager, Market Specialist, Business Analyst

  • Product Functions
  • Product Perspective
  • User Characteristics
  • User Interface
  • General Constraints and Guidelines
  • Assumptions, Dependencies and Risks

For example : Marketing

Business needs

Please describe what you want to accomplish, as a business, and your criteria for success. (Edit the examples below as appropriate. Add items, as needed.)





Metrics for Success



Identify potential customers

“pre-qualification” form (required fields / contact info)

Name, Company, Phone Number



Push marketing materials

Ability to print

# of “print page” clicks on marketing collateral



Generate customer phone calls to sales force

On-site phone listing

# of phone calls to Sales Desk generated by website



Visitor self-qualification

“pre-qualification” form (optional fields / qualification info)

Business info, volume

Customer needs

Please identify your customers and visitors, their likely agenda, and what they want to accomplish. (Edit the examples below as appropriate. Add items, as needed.)






Business Opportunity

Existing customer

Break out customer by business line or market size?

Speedy access to Mortgage service

Quick sign-on for existing customers


Login to legacy site

Self-directed visitor

Describe their agenda?

Does CSFB offer viable solutions to my needs?

Directed Search for info


Sign up

I need to talk to a sales rep

Casual visitor

Why did they come?

Learn about CSFB’s Mortgage services

Info retrieval


Print out materials

Call Me

Brand Strategy & Positioning

What is your overall strategic objective? Does the Brand reflect that?

Do customers recognize the service brand more than the company brand?


What are typical customer relationship development stages?

What is our value proposition?

Marketing Synergy

Are there partnerships/cross-selling?

Describe offline Marketing initiatives. Can they be integrated with online?


Critical success factors

Please rank the importance of these marketing objectives (describe in detail, if appropriate).


Rank Rank

Catch up with the competitors’ online presence


Gain new clients by targeting specific NEW segments of client population


Generate more inquiry phone calls to Sales Desk due to the information/data on the website


Get more qualified leads/customer contacts


Understand customer needs


Distribute marketing materials


Provide information about specific products


Focus visitor attention on competitive advantage(s)


Focus visitor attention on particular service(s)




Other? Please specify


Functional Requirements Content

This section contains a description of the detailed requirements that will directly affect the design of the software being developed, depending on the type and complexity of the system being developed.

Processing Requirements

Ownership: Development Manager, Technical Architect, Client

  • Inputs
  • Processing
  • Outputs

Performance Requirements

Ownership: Technical Architect

Design Constraints & Benchmarks

Standards Compliance

Ownership: Interface Architect, Technical Architect, Business Analyst

  • Report Formats
  • Naming Conventions
  • Accounting Procedures and Audit Tracing

Hardware And Software Limitations

Ownership: Technical Architect

Technical Interface Requirements

Ownership: Technical Architect

Human Interface Requirements

Ownership: Interface Architect, Business Analyst


Ownership: Technical Architect


Ownership: Interface Architect, Technical Architect

Product Support & Maintenance


Document Checklist

When all is said and done, we still need a reality check...

Does the document conform with the Guidelines?

Is there an understanding of the problem to be solved?

Are the requirements complete?

Are all functional requirements completely defined?

Are the requirements correct?

Are the requirements consistent?

Are all requirements clear and unambiguous?

Are the requirements feasible?

Are there adequate verification and acceptance criteria?

Are there sufficient quality requirements?

The UX Practitioner is "a Business Analyst with Design Skills"