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Chapter 15

Designing Effective Output


Systems Analysis and Design
Kendall and Kendall
Fifth Edition
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-2
Major Topics
Designing output
Output technologies
Factors in choosing an output
technology
Report design
Screen design
Web site design
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-3
External and Internal Output
Internal output is used within the
corporation
External output is used outside the
organization
External output differs from internal
output in its design and appearance
A turnaround document is one that is
sent out and then returned
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-4
Designing Output
Output should be designed to
Serve the intended purpose
Be meaningful to the user
Deliver the right quantity of output
Deliver it to the right place
Provide output on time
Choose the right output method
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Output Technologies
Output can be in the form of
Print
Screen
Audio
CD-ROM or CD-RW
DVD
E-mail
The World Wide Web
Electronic output
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Output Technologies
Output technologies differ in their
Speed
Cost
Portability
Flexibility
Storage and retrieval possibilities
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Video Clips
Video clips are useful for
Supplementing static, printed output
Distance collaboration
Showing how to perform an action
Providing brief training episodes
Shifting the time of an actual event by
recording it for later output
Preserving an important occasion for
addition to an organizations archives
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Animation
Animation is composed of four
elements:
Elemental symbols
Spatial orientation
Transition effects
Alteration effects
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Electronic Output
Electronic output includes
Fax
Electronic mail
The World Wide Web
Bulletin board messages
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-10
Disadvantages of Electronic
Output
Drawbacks of electronic and Web-based
output are
The design of CD-ROM is very time-
consuming and expensive
CD-ROM is troublesome to update
CD-ROM is difficult to use on a network
Electronic mail has difficulty in formatting
control
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-11
Disadvantages of Electronic
Output
Disadvantages, continued
Electronic mail has a potential for abuse
Junk electronic mail may become a
problem
It is difficult to express a mood with
electronic mail and communication may be
more informal
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-12
Push and Pull Technology
Pull technology allows the user to take
formatted data from the Web
Push technology sends solicited or
unsolicited information to a customer or
client
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-13
Factors in Choosing an Output
Technology
Factors that must be considered when
choosing an output technology are
Who will use the output?
How many people need the output?
Where is the output needed?
What is the purpose of the output?
What is the speed with which output is
needed?
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-14
Factors in Choosing an Output
Technology
How frequently will the output be
accessed?
How long will the output be stored?
Under what special regulations is the
output produced, stored, and distributed?
What are the initial and ongoing costs of
maintenance and supplies?
What are the environmental requirements
for output technologies?
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-15
Output Bias
Analysts must be aware of sources of
output bias and inform users of the
possibilities of bias in output
Bias is introduced in three main ways:
How information is sorted
Setting of acceptable limits
Choice of graphics
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Strategies to Avoid Bias
Strategies to avoid output bias
Awareness of the sources of bias
Design of output that includes users
Working with users so that they are
informed of the output's biases
Creating output that is flexible and allows
users to modify limits and ranges
Train users to rely on multiple output for
conducting "reality tests" on system output
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Printed Reports
Design reports using software
Design guidelines for printed reports
are
Include functional attributes, such as
headings, page numbers, and control
breaks
Incorporate stylistic and aesthetic
attributes, such as extra blank space and
grouping data
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Report Design Considerations
Examine the type of data: alphabetic,
special, or numeric
Constant information does not change
when the report is printed
Variable information changes each time
the report is printed
Specify the paper quality, type, and size
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Computer-Aided Report Design
Steps to follow when designing reports
using a computer-aided software tool
Determine the need for the report
Determine the users
Determine the data items to be included
Estimate the overall size of the report
Title the report
Number the pages of the report
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-20
Computer-Aided Report Design
Further steps for designing reports
Include the preparation date on the report
Label each column of data appropriately
Define variable data indicating the type of
data
Indicate the positioning of blank lines used
to help organize information
Review prototype reports with users and
programmers
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-21
Report Stylistic and Aesthetic
Elements
Stylistic/aesthetic elements of printed
reports include
Organization
Control breaks
Blank spaces
Margins
Color coding
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-22
Online Screen Design
Online screens are designed using
screen design software
Guidelines for screen design are
Keep the screen simple
Keep the screen presentation consistent
Facilitate user movement among screens
Create an attractive screen
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-23
Graphs
Primary considerations for designing
graphical output
Output must be accurate, easy to
understand and use
The purpose of the graph must be
determined
Decision makers must be trained in using it
Provide the ability to call up a variety of
user views as well possible commands
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-24
Web Site Design
Design principles must be used when
designing Web sites
These include
Using professional tools
Studying other sites
Using Web resources
Examining the sites of professional Web
site designers
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Web Site Design
Further principles
Using tools that you are familiar with
Consulting books
Looking at examples of poorly designed
pages
Creating Web templates. Style sheets
allow you to format all Web pages in a site
consistently
Using plug-ins, audio, and video sparingly
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-26
Web Graphics
Guidelines for using graphics when
designing Web sites are
Use either JPEG or GIF formats
Create a few professional-looking graphics
for use on your page
Keep the background simple and readable
Examine your Web site on a variety of
monitors and graphics resolutions
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-27
Web Graphics
Guidelines continued
Save JPEG images at the highest quality
possible within a reasonable size
Use horizontal rules to separate sections of
Web pages
Use colorful bullets for lists and hot buttons
for links
Keep graphics images small and reuse
images
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-28
Web Graphics
Guidelines continued
Use transparent GIF files to make images
that are not rectangular
Use a graphics package to tilt your image
Follow the three clicks rule which states
that you should be able to go to any page
in three clicks
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-29
Tips for Corporate Web Sites
To improve the presentation of a
corporate Web site
Provide an entry screen or home page
Keep the number of graphics to a
reasonable minimum
Use large and colorful fonts for headings
Use interesting images and buttons for
links
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-30
Tips for Corporate Web Sites
Ideas continued
Use the same graphics image on several
Web pages
Avoid overusing animation, sound, and
other busy elements
Provide an area on the left side or on the
top of the Web page for links to other
pages in the Web site
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-31
Tips for Corporate Web Sites
Ideas continued
Make sure that your Web page does not
scroll horizontally, keep the vertical page
under 2 screens
Make sure that your initial page loads
quickly
Add one or two Java applets if possible
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice Hall, Inc. 15-32
Planning a Web Site
Planning a Web site involves
Designing the structure of the Web site
Focusing on the content
Using meaningful text
Including appropriate graphics
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Planning a Web Site
Further Web site planning guidelines
Paying attention to the presentation of the
Web site, with a consideration of download
times
Constructing navigational links
Promoting the Web site
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Promoting the Web Site
You can encourage companies to
promote your Web sites by:
Using e-mail to promote your site
Encouraging readers to bookmark your site
Submitting your site to search engines
Making it clear who is maintaining the Web
site
Performing perpetual maintenance of the
Web site