Socially-Oriented Requirements Engineering: Software Engineering Meets Ethnography

  • Sonja PedellEmail author
  • Tim Miller
  • Frank Vetere
  • Leon Sterling
  • Steve Howard
Part of the Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality book series (SIPS, volume 3)


We outline an approach for eliciting, understanding, and representing the cultural aspects of the domestic environment for the purpose of system design. We use agent models as shared artefacts to represent the everyday cultural life of the home. These representations build an understanding between the people that own this culture and the people responsible for technology development. We argue the necessity of knowing about a formal representation of these cultural aspects to inform design decisions and develop technologies that truly satisfy and support the everyday life of families. Our aim is to express socially-oriented requirements for technology. We show the usefulness of this approach on a case study that investigates interactions between grandparents and grandchildren who are geographically separated.


Quality Attribute Social Goal Goal Model Requirement Elicitation Ethnographic Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank the participating families. This research was funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (#DP0880810).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonja Pedell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tim Miller
    • 2
  • Frank Vetere
    • 2
  • Leon Sterling
    • 3
  • Steve Howard
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of DesignSwinburne University of TechnologyPrahranAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Computing and Information SystemsThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of Information and Communication TechnologiesSwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia

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