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User Requirements for Internet Of Things (IoT) Applications: An Observational study
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Context. Internet of Things (IoT) is a new trending phase of technology. IoT refers to communication and connectivity between things such as technological devices, actuators, sensors, and people or processes with unique identifiers. The importance of IoT is to improve the daily living standards of an average user. IoT is made for the people and used by the people for many reasons such as improved health, business innovations, and personal health trackers. Examples of IoT applications and services today include  Smart thermostats like NEST, connected cars like Car2Go, activity trackers like BASIS, smart outlets like Belkin, Parking sensors like streetline and so much more services being developed.

Objectives. The main goal of this study is to identify the challenges users face in understanding IoT and monitoring it as it undergoes change through self-adaptation. Once the challenges have been known then the gap between system requirements and user requirements can be bridged. The study also states the different ways the developers can improve the IoT services and applications for the users through user feedback.

Methods. In this paper, an observational study is conducted. Within the study, two data collection methods were used; observational of the users and post observation questionnaires. The observational study was done by video recording users while using the IoT application. This was to obtain information about the IoT. The post observational questionnaires were to obtain information about the users’ judgement of their IoT experience. The IoT application used in this study is a Smart Home Starter Kit. The users are to secure a room with the Smart Home Starter kit. Later on, the users are presented with a post observational questionnaire to further elaborate on their experience in case the researcher missed something while recording. The study was performed with 5 users. The users were found through convenience sampling at the Karlskrona central train station and the Hogsland Park. They were then asked, if they were willing to take part in the study. This number of users was enough to reach saturation needed for the research. The author used a deductive approach together with conventional content analysis method to analyze the data and its quality.

Results. The research questions of the study focused mainly on learning, maintaining awareness and re-process of the IoT. Re-process of the IoT refers to implementing the IoT with the new information received from user feedback. This enables the IoT to become more user compatible and friendly. When the results of the study were mapped to the research questions, the author deduced that learnability requirements were lacking. The users suggested simpler step by step guidelines would have made their experience with IoT much better. Thus the IoT developers would implement the user feedback through simple online tutorials, an online technician that could guide the users through the IoT application.

Conclusions. In comparison to related work, the author concluded that there is still a big knowledge gap between the system requirements and the user requirements of the IoT. Many related papers are more focused on what IoT applications to develop and design than the users of the IoT applications. That is where this paper comes in, to bridge the gap. Without focus on users and their needs, then complex IoT systems will fail to accomplish their goal. The users suggested simple step by step approach on how to use the IoT due to the learnability problem that is faced by the majority of them. The product developers can make simpler and more user friendly IoT applications with these results. In the future, User requirements could further get categorized according to the different types of IoT and users. This would make it simpler for the researcher as the scope is narrowed down and at the same time for the IoT developers, as they know what to implement in the IoT applications. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 41 p.
National Category
Software Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-11025OAI: diva2:873960
Subject / course
PA2535 Master's Thesis (60 credits) in Software Engineering
Educational program
PAASI Master of Science Programme in Software Engineering
2015-09-22, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-11-25 Created: 2015-11-25 Last updated: 2015-12-01Bibliographically approved

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