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In this paper, the authors discuss a user-centered approach to requirements gathering and design and its application to an agile software development project. The approach used in this paper is based on Contextual Design (CD), a user-centered design technique, developed by Beyer and Holtzblatt. The benefits of using CD to requirements gathering and usability are explained using a case study, a Web-based seismic monitor, which allows a user to monitor earthquakes all around the world in real time. This paper demonstrates the benefits of CD by the improved design and usability of the application. CD shares some of the fundamental principles of agile software development processes, such as continuous user feedback and rapid prototyping.
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