The research investigated how input from users can be used to inform system design at an early stage. The study was conducted in the context of a smart card project in an educational organization. Scenarios of smart card system use were developed based on claims analysis. For the purpose of evaluating the scenarios, a model of system acceptance was devised. Evaluation questionnaires based on the acceptance model were developed and used by potential system users to evaluate the scenarios. Multiple regression analysis of the questionnaire responses indicated which causal links in the acceptance model were significant, and enabled the elements of system functionality likely to have an impact on acceptance to be identified. This approach enables the importance of particular system functions to be assessed at an early stage of system design.