Linking Use Cases and Associated Requirements
A Replicated Eye Tracking Study on the Impact of Linking Variants on Reading Behavior
Keywords:Linking, use case, requirement, reading behavior, eye tracking, visual effort, attention switch, cognitive load
A wide variety of use case templates supports different variants to link a use case with its associated requirements. Regardless of the linking, a reader must process the related information simultaneously to understand them.
Linking variants are intended to cause a specific reading behavior in which a reader interrelates a use case and its associated requirements. Due to the effort to create and maintain links, we investigated the impact of different linking variants on the reading behavior in terms of visual effort and the intended way of interrelating both artifacts.
We designed an eye tracking study about reading a use case and requirements. We conducted the study twice each with 15 subjects as a baseline experiment and as a repetition. The results of the baseline experiment, its repetition, and their joint analysis are consistent. All investigated linking variants cause comparable visual effort. In all cases, reading the single artifacts one after the other is the most frequently occurring behavior. Only links embedded in the fields of a use case description significantly increase the readers’ efforts to interrelate both artifacts. None of the investigated linking variants impedes reading a use case and requirements. However, only the most detailed linking variant causes readers to process related information simultaneously.
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