In organizational and commercial settings, people often have clear roles and workflows against which functional and non-functional requirements can be extracted. However, in more social settings, such as platforms for enhancing social interaction, successful applications are driven more by user emotional engagement than functionality, the drivers of user engagement are difficult to identify. A key challenge is to understand people's emotional goals so that they can be incorporated into the design.
This paper proposes a novel framework called the Emotional Attachment Framework that is based on existing models and theories of emotional attachment. Its aim is to facilitate the process of capturing emotional goals in software engineering. To demonstrate the framework in use, emotional goals are elicited for a software application that aims to provide help for homeless people. The outcomes are evaluated by domain experts and compared with an alternative approach. The results indicate that the Emotional Attachment Framework has the potential to help system analysts uncover additional emotional goals as well as provide valuable insights into these emotional goals.
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