Use Cases Part II: Taming Scope

by Norm Carr, Tim Meehan

26 Reader Comments

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  1. Designers are often in a situation where they are moonlighting and don’t have time to set up these types of scenarios – the client wants a site redesign YESTERDAY and don’t care to listen to our use cases. Let’s face it…a well designed site takes longer to create and could potentially cost the client more money in the short-term. How do we handle client expectations while delivering a quality product from a usability perspective without staying up until 2am every night and under-charging for our services?

    I think the use of UML really depends on what type of project you are working on.  If it is a clean cut website with little database connectivity/complex features then I believe it is fine to skip the UML stuff if time is a factor.

    But if they want a complex site with more features and a large amount of database interaction, you must make it clear to the client, the importance of the UML diagrams in a well-planned system.  Explain how it will take more time, and more of their money if the system has to be reworked during the development phase.

    For more information on this subject, I suggest Rapid Development by Steve McConnell.  It is an easy read and I found it very interesting/helpful.

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  2. Thank you! Good article and very useful sounding approach. Another article to go into more details would be nice. Cheers, Tony

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  3. The discussion on the “extends” and “include” is very clear. However, I’ve seen even software developers misusing them. It’s good that the author stayed away from discussing the “uses” stereotype. UML2.0 actually added more stereotypes to denote relationships between usecase bubbles. See

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  4. Nice article, I’d like to say thanks for reminding me to use UML more. I’m currently making a recruitment site and I still believe there’s nothing better than really spending quality time with your client. Understand the process, work with the flow. Bring lots and lots of scratch paper and a good pencil. Draw diagrams if you must and go home to document what was discussed.
    UML is clearly designed for making processes clear. That’s why we were thought Rational Rose® in college. To understand who does what and where should it all go. Large web projects can definitely benefit from this concept although tried and tested sites that does not require intensive coding/programming would, as others said, just see UML as just another fancy corporate trick that generates more $$$.
    Stick with the basics… and you couldn’t possibly go wrong.

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  5. wierd, I’m taking Systems Analysis and Design right now, this is a great article for my research. Thanks!

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  6. ALA is brilliant, it has really helped me, and I have honestly found it the be the most useful resource on the net..

    I wish you guys would give us an update on what is going on… ALA is by far the best resource for CSS and well… all the cool tips and tricks a developer needs to know.

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