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Design Requirement Examples

The design requirements for your project will differ from those of anyone else, because yours will apply to your specific problem statement and the product, system, or experience that you are designing. In the table are a few examples of design requirements. Your requirements will be more specific and directly related to meeting the needs of your project's users.

If you are designing a baseball bat, your design requirements might be that the bat needs to be:

If you are designing a better form of transportation for students to get to school, your design requirements might be that the transportation needs to be:

If you are designing a website for teachers to post homework assignments online, your design requirements might be that the website needs to:

To help you consider possibilities, here are several tables listing different types of design requirements. It would be rare if all the ones important to you were here; it would be equally rare (but still possible) that none of yours are here. Most students will pick only three to five. Remember that all of your requirements should be needed and feasible.

Types of Design Requirement for General Products
A cost target is almost always a design requirement
  • Cost to purchase
  • Cost to use
  • Cost to repair
Aesthetics (how it looks)
  • Style (art deco, Victorian, modern, medieval)
  • Color
  • Fit and finish (Is it built with care and attention to detail?)
Geometry
  • Size, overall dimensions
  • Curvature
Capacity (how many and how big are the things it can work with)
Physical characteristics
  • Weight
  • Density
  • Melting, boiling point
  • Color
  • Transparency
  • Reflectance
  • Surface texture (polished, rough)
  • Elasticity
  • Hardness
  • Ductility (ability to be drawn into a wire)
  • Magnetic properties
  • Electrical properties (resistance, impedance, etc.)
  • Impact resistance
  • Bending strength
  • Viscosity (the thickness and stickiness of a fluid)
Performance characteristics
  • Accuracy
  • Strength
  • Reproducibility, repeatability (Does it always do the same thing given the same input?)
  • Speed
  • Acceleration
  • Deceleration, braking
  • Rolling resistance
  • Friction
  • Adhesion
  • Absorbency
  • Permeability (Do things leak through it?)
  • Resolution
  • Flammability (ability to set on fire)
  • Insulation value
Inputs
  • Energy consumption
  • Fuel consumption
  • Labor
Outputs
  • Product produced
  • Power
  • Pollution
  • Undesirable side effects ___________
Manufacturing considerations
  • Difficulty of making
  • Equipment or manufacturing techniques required to build the invention (You don't want to build something from metal if all you have is a woodworking shop.)
  • Number of component parts
  • Labor requirements
  • Means of shipping or delivery
Environmental requirements
  • Operating temperature range
  • Storage temperature range
  • Water resistance
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Compatibility with ___________
  • Ability to withstand radiation (called radiation hardness)
User requirements
  • Ease of use
  • Ease of learning
  • Operator training
Regulatory & licensing considerations
  • Meets government rules
  • Meets league rules (a sporting product)
  • Does it require paying a patent or license fee?
How does it hold up?
  • Service requirements
  • Ease of repair
  • Reliability
  • Lifespan
  • Disposability
Acoustic characteristics
  • Pitch
  • Sound transmission
  • Resonance


Types of Design Requirements for Software Programs
Software products & programs
  • Functionality or feature set
  • Capacity (how many and how big are the things it can work with)
  • Type of user interface (command line, standard Windows or Mac look & feel, totally unique)
  • Customizability
  • Speed, responsiveness
  • Ability to communicate with other programs (data import / export)
  • Type of error handling (none (not recommended!), error number, messages with help)
  • Programming language written in
  • Portability (ability to move to another operating system)
  • Ability to modify to work in other spoken languages (often called localization)
The computer environment the program requires
  • Operating system
  • CPU speed
  • Memory size
  • Display size and number of colors supported
  • Single user or network environment
  • Peripherals required (scanners, printers, disk drives)
  • Other software required (language interpreters, browsers, etc.)

Every product area has some of its own requirements; these are just a few types:

 
Clothing
  • Comfort, wearability
  • Fabric
  • How to clean (dry clean or throw it in the wash)
  • Iron or permanent press
Aircraft and Rockets
  • Lift
  • Drag
  • Thrust
Food Products
  • Taste
  • Nutrition value
  • Perishability (how and how long can it be stored)
Genetically Engineered Bacteria
  • Gene to be added or deleted
  • Means of controlling gene expression