Brainstorming System Requirements using MindMeister

A response to the Find an Educational Use for Fun Apps Challenge
created by Jessica Joy (@ba_professor)

Number of views: 481


I certainly struggled to select an app for this challenge, given the nature of the program within which I teach, where technology is a critical component. I considered several options including Doodle, Trello, Basecamp, Clockify and Maplet; however, it was MindMiester that caught my attention. It’s been my experience that students engage very actively in creative brainstorming activities, so I challenged myself to consider how the creation of a mind map activity utilizing the tool MindMeister might be integrated into one of my courses.

I’ve used this tool and others like it to brainstorm projects, facilitate discussions and even in strategic planning; I’ve not considered how it might be used as a way to guide the identification of user requirements in systems analysis and design.

When identifying user requirements, we generally start with identifying the types of users (actors), identifying the goals each user type has with respect to the system, which use cases will help the user achieve those goals, and the functional requirements to enable those use cases. Using MindMeister, students can collaboratively brainstorm and generate a map or “tree” to graphically represent the connections from actors through to functional requirements. This “tree” can be a valuable resource with which to draw information as they continue to model user requirements in greater detail.

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