Case Study 2: Design Process
CIS 524 – Computer Interaction and Design
Case Study 2: Design Process
User interface (UI) design is the process of developing user interfaces for machines and software, such as computers, home appliances, mobile devices, and other electronic devices, with the focus on maximizing usability and the user experience. The goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as simple and efficient as possible, in terms of accomplishing user goals (user-centered design). As part of the case study, we will assume that we have recently started our own software design company and have discovered that the local DMV is looking to build a system that will allow receptionists to check customers in quickly. The system should allow customers to self-check-in during busy times, but have receptionists check customers in the rest of the time. MO User Interfaces has put a bid in for the project and has won the contract. The purpose of this exercise is to develop the design process.
Software prototyping refers to creating prototypes of software applications. In others words, what the final application or interface will look like. Samples of this prototypes can be the incomplete versions of the interface that is been developed, but also a graphical representation of the functionality. According to Johansson and Arvola, there are two common ways of prototyping, low fidelity and high fidelity. The term ‘fidelity’ describes how well it resembles thefinal product. Low fidelity can be a prototype that is sketchy and incomplete, that has some characteristics of the target product but is otherwise simple, usually in order to quickly produce the prototype and test broad concepts. On the other hand, a high fidelity prototype is one that is quite close to the final product, with lots of detail and functionality.
For this example, it is assumed that the bid for the contract has already been so low fidelity prototyping might not be the best way to go. It might be valid to have a sketch or flowchart on how the interface will work for presenting it initially, but a high fidelity approach will work best for developing purposes. A high fidelity approach is not only easier to visualize and for the users to be able to understand the new interface but it also helps the system developer in achieving a high precision system. Through the use of this prototyping technique, the developers can communicate to the clients about the ides of system in a better way.
Management planning is the process of assessing an organization’s goals and creating a realistic, detailed plan of action for meeting those goals. A management plan takes into consideration short- and long-term corporate strategies. The basic steps in the management planning process involve creating a road map that outlines each task the company must accomplish to meet its overall objectives . The designing of the suggested interface for the DMV is no exception and should include careful planning in order to guarantee successful delivery and functionality. The suggested plan outlines eight (8) key stages that must be met for completion. Stages are as follow:
Establishment of Objectives: It is extremely important to first establish the objectives for the proposed interface. The system designer needs to understand what these objectives are and why the system is been designed for. During this stage, the objectives of the system are established, and they should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time based.
Identifying System Objects: It is necessary to identify the system objects so that business policies which are usually applied on the objects can also be determined.Object identification in object models means that every object instance has a unique, unchanging identity. Object identification is often referred to as an OID. OIDs are used to reference object instances and are characterized as been independent of data contained in the object, generated by the object system, and last the lifetime of the object. The OID never changes even when the data contents may change.
Identifying the system attributes: System attributes also needs to be identified in order to prepare the design of the system. It is important to identify the attributes as it clarifies the system’s sources. Identification of the critical quality attributes for a software system depends on the purpose. At first, you should clearly state your research objectives; define the type and the purpose of your software, and after that search literature for some recommendations regarding expected attributes.A pilot exploratory study with developers and/or users to identify quality characteristics of a software system has to be conducted.
Identifying activities: At this stage, the activities taking place in the systems are identified. During this stage, the functionality of the system is evaluated.Some of the activities in the software development process are sequential in nature, dividing the process into multiple phases. Some of these phases are: requirements analysis, domain analysis, client-oriented design, implementation and integration. There are other activities that need to be done but cannot be isolated in a specific phase and repeated throughout the process. These are: risk analysis, planning, verification, and documentation.
Schedule activities: After the identification activities must be scheduled to determine the order of their execution. During this phase, milestones and deliverables are defined and start and finish dates are assigned to each activity. The items are often estimated by other information included in the management plan.
Allocation of Resources: During this stage, the resources needed to complete the different activities are allocated. In resource allocation planning, resources are identified. A big sample that needs to be identified is human resources, as well as financial resources. All resource needs to be identified and its availability determined.
Diagram the Design: Final design of the application is done in this stage;a visual representation needs to be the final goal.
Design approval: The last stage calls for senior management to approve the proposed design. On any good design, all stakeholders must be involved in the approval of it, since all parts will be interacting with it.
Management Plan Time Length
Each stage will have a set estimated time for completion and all parts involved must stick to the time proposed in order to keep the design process on track. The proposed time length is as follows:
Self-Check-In vs Receptionist Interface
- Stage 1: Establishment of objectives3-4 days
- Stage 2: Identifying system objects1 day
- Stage 3: Identifying the system attributes1 day
- Stage 4: Identifying activities1 day
- Stage 5: Schedule activities1 day
- Stage 6: Allocation of resources1-2 days
- Stage 7: Diagram the design3-4 days
- Stage 8: Design approval1 day
The functionality of both interfaces is pretty much the same, its end goal is to assign a user to the next available service representative e that can assist them. Both the receptionist and the user checking in can select the purpose of the visit and the system will queue them appropriately. The only difference between the two interfaces is that the receptionist will have the ability to check who has opted to self-check-in during peak times. Following is the proposed characteristics for both interfaces:
- Allows the customer to self-check-in while the receptionist is busy.
- Reduces the time for customerchecking-in.
Graphical Representation of Proposed Interfaces
- Allows receptionist to attend the customer.
- Allows the receptionist to look for those customers who have self-checked-in.
- More time consuming from customer check-in to actual service by DMV associates.
Figure 1: Flowchart of Check-In Process
Figure 2: Self-Check-In Interface
Figure 3: Receptionist Check-In Interface
Beaudouin-Lafon, M., & Mackay, W. (2002). Prototyping Tools and Techniques. In The human-computer interaction handbook (pp. 1006-1031). Hillsdale, NJ, USA: L. Erlbaum Associates Inc.
Johansson, M., & Arvola, M. (2007). A case study of how user interface sketches, scenarios and computer prototypes structure stakeholder meetings. Proceedings of HCI 2007. Lancaster, UK.
Mullane, T. (2015, April 14). The Basic Steps in the Management Planning Process.
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