Reports: A brief overview

By Gordon Rugg

This article is about a range of techniques which involve people reporting on actions, thoughts or rationale. It’s not about writing technical reports, etc.

These techniques evolved independently, rather than as a systematic toolbox. However, in practice they complement each other neatly. The table below shows how they fit together.

Time Technique(s) Main knowledge issues involved
Future Scenarios Knowing the unknowable
Present Think-aloud Short Term Memory/working memory
Past
  • Critical Incident Technique
  • Hard Case Technique
Active and passive biases in human memory

This article describes how these techniques can be used systematically to identify and clarify clients’ requirements, with particular reference to legal and practical constraints.

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