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Computing Revision F452

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Alex Ebbage

on 15 May 2011

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Transcript of Computing Revision F452

Computing Revision
F452 Designing Solution To Problems - Module 1 Importance of a
good design A good design is one which is user-friendly, not necessarily one which looks good.
A user-friendly design should be:
Effective: data can be input/output accurately, reducing the likelihood of errors.
Efficient: make the best use of facilities available, increasing productivity for the user.
Satisfying: the end user is comfortable and enjoys using it, reducing the training needed. An effective user
interface This is one that allows the user to input and output all the data accurately.
This will reduce errors made while operating the program, which could be costly for the user.
How could a designer reduce user errors when using an interface? An efficient user interface This is one that makes the best use of the facilities available to the program.
These include:
Processor time (the more efficient the interface is, the quicker it will respond to interaction)
Making good use of any input and output devices or media available (such as screen or paper size)
Using the best type of inputs on a form for the situation (text boxes, combo boxes, check options, etc)
An efficient interface will increase the productivity of the program for the user. An efficient user interface This is one that makes the best use of the facilities available to the program.
These include:
Processor time (the more efficient the interface is, the quicker it will respond to interaction)
Making good use of any input and output devices or media available (such as screen or paper size)
Using the best type of inputs on a form for the situation (text boxes, combo boxes, check options, etc)
An efficient interface will increase the productivity of the program for the user. A satisfying user interface This is one that the end user is comfortable with and enjoys (as much they can!) using.
The program should be easy to learn. This is achieved by using familiar tools, allowing the user to reapply their existing skills to learn the new program.
The user can then focus on the task to be performed and not learning how to use the program.
This reduces the training costs and improves morale. Designing input screens Factors to consider include:
The user, for example age or disabilities
Hardware available (e.g. Input devices)
Software options available (e.g. Graphical user interface)
Layout and order of items on the screen
How the data input will be validated
Instructions, help and information.
If a data capture form needs to be designed to go
with the input screen then it should be taken into
consideration when designing the screen. Factors to consider for input screens – the user It is important to remember who the user is:
A young child will require a very different interface design than adults.
Compare the Cbeebies to the BBC homepage
The users level of computer literacy as well as any disabilities are also important factors.
These consideration should allow the designer to choose the most appropriate hardware and layouts for the systems users. Factors to consider for
input screens – order The user (in the west) is likely to read the screen from left to right and from top to bottom.
So, the title and the most important information must come first.
Action buttons for the end of the process (e.g. ‘Next Screen’, ‘Submit’) should be neat the bottom and to the right.
Also, if the interface is a form to be filled from a paper version, then the items on the screen should be in the same order as on the paper version. Factors to consider for input screens – validation The interface should, wherever possible, reject any data which are obviously wrong.
This ensures that data stored is meaningful and reliable. Factors to consider for input screens GUI objects The objects available should be used to make the data input efficient and help avoid input errors.
These include textboxes, drop-down lists, option buttons, check boxes, list boxes, command buttons. Menus and toolbars.
Text boxes should reflect the length of the input expected. Factors to consider for input screens – help and information The user should be kept informed about what the system is doing.
E.g. if an input is rejected, the interface should explain why. If a process is likely to take a long time, a progress bar can be provided to indicate that the processing is being done and how long it will take.
Any additional help should be easy to access and relevant to what the user is currently doing where possible. Designing data capture forms (paper-based) This is a form that is used to collect data that will be input into a computer program.
If designed well, inputting data on the form into the program should be easier. Factors to consider for data capture forms layout Data fields and their layout on the data capture form (paper-based) should match the layout of the input form on the screen, with one-to-one correspondence if possible.
This will allow the user to easily switch while inputting data.
Consistency of layout should be maintained within the elements of the screen. E.g. if a drop-down list is to be used on screen, then the data capture form should have a vertical list of the same items, in the same order, from which the person filling the form can select one. Factors to consider for data capture forms instructions Unlike an onscreen form, a data capture form cannot give you an error message if the data has been filled in incorrectly.
This makes it very important that the form should have very clear instructions indicating how it should be filled. Factors to consider for data capture forms – readability Instructions should encourage the person filling in the form to write clearly and in block capitals where this is practical.
One way to encourage this is to provide boxes for data such as names and dates, such that each box needs to be filled in with one character.
This also limits the number of characters entered on the form to the maximum allowed by the program. Factors to consider for report design A report is the presentation of the data from the computer program that has been selected, processed and presented to meet a specific need of the user, usually in printed form.
A report layout describes which data should be output and in what position, often using tables and fields.
Again, the needs of the user and hardware need considering as well as other factors such as the size and type of paper to be used, or whether it will be printed in b/w or colour. You will always need to consider who is reading the report and what data they most need to see so that you can highlight the most relevant information. Often, graphical output, such as pie chart, can be more effective than text for conveying the information.
As a report is more likely to be printed and stored, it is more likely to be read out of context, at a later time or different place. It is therefore important that the report has a clear title which describes what the report contains.
Remember that a report is a record of the result of processing the data at a specific time and therefore may produce different results at different times. It is important then to include the date and maybe even the time.
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