Use Case Modelling, Scenario Based Engineering, User centric design
If you are a software architect, human computer interface/interaction design specialist, business analyst, these would be familiar techniques that you would be using on a regular basis.
These are proven techniques that help us get a concrete understandig of the current system/way things work. We've been using these from the good old systems modelling days when Ivar Jacobson promoted Use Case modelling, through to the more recent excitement around interaction design especially given the exponential adoption curve around web applications.
These techniques are perfect for helping us to understand the current way people interact with the 'system', and gives us a good starting point for assessing whether the user experience as designed is adequate for the objective.
As we move into "Web Future" (beyond Web 2.0 even!), are these the techniques that will enable us to come up with the 'next big thing' on the Web? or is there a conceptual leap that we as innovators need to overcome in order to come up with the right user experience that will revolutionise the way people experience life?
Was eBay designed by modelling existing auction house and auction processes? Are good blogging software initially designed by looking at how people like to write diary entries?