GuideaMaps: A Domain-Specific Requirement Elicitation App

Start date: Mon, 2012-10-01
Status: Ongoing

GuideaMaps is a flexible tablet (iPad) app that supports the requirements elicitation phase for domain-specific software. It is usable by non-computing as well as computing people, as building domain-specific software requires the expertise of people with very different background. The app guides the users through the requirement elicitation by providing a (customizable) list of issues to consider.

We have opted to develop a tool that can be positioned as a structured mind-mapping tool, i.e., the mind map has a predefined structure. This predefined structure captures the issues to consider during requirement elicitation. During the requirement elicitation process, the user will go through the predefined issues (in any order), select the ones that are relevant, provide the required motivations and information, and make choices where needed.  The app provides explanations, indicates which issues are required and which are optional, provides options and alternatives, indicates the impacts of choices, and documents choices made. The tool can be used in meetings or individually.

To capture the issues to consider, we invented the term “guidea” (a portmanteau word for “guided” and “idea”), and because our representation is based on mind maps, the models created are called “GuideaMaps”. The predefined maps are called "GuideaTemplates".  Below is an example of a GuideaTemplate for the domain of Serious Games and one for the domain of e-commerce web applications.

102 GuideaTemplate for the Domain of Serious Games for Children

104 GuideTemplate for the Domain of E-Commerce Web ApplicationsThe next figure shows how the tool allows to select a specific GuideaTemplate when creating a new GuideaMap.

106 Selecting a GuideaTemplate


The following figure shows how the user can select predefined options for certain issues. Options that cause a conflict or require the selection of other options (for other guideas) are marked with a red icon and the required and/or forbidden options can be shown in a pop-up. Options already selected are marked in gray.

107 Predefined Options



Involved members: Olga De Troyer
Funded By: partially supported by the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (Belgium) IWT under the Friendly ATTAC project (
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