The "Emily" project.


Emily has a shop.

 

This is the scenario. "Emily runs a small shop that sells clothing and shoes. Her stock levels are stored on a database and include items that she can’t display in the shop as it is too small. Emily wants to use tablet computers in the shop to show customers what she has in stock, including the sizes, amount in stock and prices. Customers will be able to select the product they want and Emily, or another member of staff can bring it out to them."

Using the scenario above create a visualisation of the tablet computer screen interface that customers could use to see and select the clothing that they want to try on.

Visualisation software - balsamiq

Use the 30 day free trial for Balsimiq to create a few wire frame designs which can be evaluated as a group of designs that you consider suitable for Emily's purpose. Balsamiq requires an email account, (use your school account) and a password. The Balsamiq interface is easy to use (self-explanatory - really!) to create a number of different diagrams that could explain to Emily the ideas that you have. In an examination situation you would be required to draw such diagrams by hand. Use the visualisation notes on this page to help guide you.

Activity

Document your designs by copying the designs to a word document and having created a visualisation of the tablet screen for Emily, now test the appropriateness of your solutions by showing it to possible users (focus group). You should develop a number of questions (approximately five to seven per diagram) that they would like a focus group to answer based on their visualisation diagrams. Consider the following aspects when constructing the questions:

  • Who the users are?
  • What is the aim of the tablet screen interface?
  • How easy the interface is to use?
  • Are there any suggested improvements from the focus group?

Finally

Gather data from a small focus group and adjust the visualisation diagram based on results. You will submit your diagrams and questionnaires which will then be distributed to the members of the class via email. You will then use visualisation techniques to illustrate your findings.

 

Visualisation


Visualisation.

 

Wikipedia rightly says that "Visualization of how a car deforms in an asymmetrical crash using finite element analysis. Visualization or visualisation (see spelling differences) is any technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate a message. Visualization through visual imagery has been an effective way to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas since the dawn of humanity. Examples from history include cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek geometry, and Leonardo da Vinci's revolutionary methods of technical drawing for engineering and scientific purposes. Visualization today has ever-expanding applications in science, education, engineering (e.g., product visualization), interactive multimedia, medicine, etc. Typical of a visualization application is the field of computer graphics. The invention of computer graphics may be the most important development in visualization since the invention of central perspective in the Renaissance period. The development of animation also helped advance visualization."

In effect you are creating a wire frame drawing of the interface that will be created. The wire frame drawing should show the layout but not the content, should describe functionality but not be functional and should suggest processes such as storage and actions if necessary.

This is a site that explains with examples the nature of the wire frame diagram. Here is another good site that provides a number of ideas (Ok 24 ideas) that should prove useful.

Examples.

 

What is wire frame?

(This is a blog so as the link may not work, I have added the content here.) Wire frame is visual guide use to suggest the structure and component of website. Wire frame is very important tool in web development. Wire frame separates graph element of website from functional element. Wire frame suggest structure of page without using any graphics and text. Making wire frame for your website is great way to develop your website.

The purpose of creating wire frame is to explain business idea behind web development. Wire frame help to establish functionality & relationship between different screens of website. Wire frames are high level structural work for website.

Why We have to create wire frames?

Creating a wire frame gives the client, developer, and designer an opportunity to take a critical look at the structure of the website and allows them to make revisions easily early on in the process.

Wire framing brings the following key benefits:

  • It gives the client an early, close-up view of the site design (or re-design).
  • It can inspire the designer, resulting in a more fluid creative process.
  • It gives the developer a clear picture of the elements that they will need to code.
  • It makes the call to action on each page clear.
  • It is easy to adapt and can show the layout of many sections of the website.

Importance of designing wire frame:

  • Wire frames are important in web designing project. With the help of wire frame designer, developer & website owner will get idea about website interface. With this sample wire frame we can save lots of development time.
  • Wire frames gets your client thinking about what they really need in website that help client to define their project goals and primary focus for website.
  • It help developer to get detail information of the elements that they need to code. What is the flow of the project?
  • Efficient Designing. Web page designing concept usually takes more effort and time by web designer. The concept for web design is expensive than normal web designing concept but due to its accuracy, precision and clarity, it has now became the most preferable among the clients and web designer in website design.
  • It helps you experiment with your future website layout without time consuming.
  • It helps gather feedback before spending to much work on the wrong thing and deliver the core message more effectively.
  • It helps designers layout many sections of the website, resulting in a more fluid creative process.

Example of Wire frames:

 

 

Visualisation 2


Further activities in Visualisation, and other questions.

Example 1.

Here is the WBS (Work Breakdown Schedule) for making scrambled eggs on toast. Please note that some of the durations have been altered to make a definite Critical path. If you have drawn the CPA diagram already then check that you have the right path.

Task

Time taken (minutes)

Boil kettle of water

5

Cook the eggs in the pan

3

Crack two eggs into a bowl and scramble

2

Gather ingredients ready to make breakfast

1

Pour hot water into tea cup and make tea

1

Put butter on toast

2

Put scrambled egg on to the toast

1

Serve to table

2

Slice bread

1

Toast the bread

4

  • Make a flow chart of the WBS
  • Create a GANTT chart showing the path. Make a duplicate of the Gantt chart that you made in assignment 1 and edit the task names and durations. Assume that the tasks take days not minutes and the shape of the chart will be correct. Additionally, at this point assume that the processes are all sequential.
  • Create a critical path chart and identify the critical path. Here are some useful notes that may be beneficial if you need further guidance on Critical paths.
  • Re-draw the Gantt chart taking into account the alternate paths - change the start dates of the tasks.


Class and homework questions

1. This example already has the dependencies shown for you so that you can create an accurate CPA chart (sometimes called a network diagram - not to be confused with the network diagram of a network of computers which is more of a map)

Task

Time taken (minutes)

Dependency

A

5

 

B

2

 

C

3

A, B

D

5

 

E

6

 

F

4

D, E

G

2

C, F

H

5

G

I

7

G

J

3

H, I

Remember, the event goes on the arc and the nodes simply connect arcs together. Sketch your chart on paper before you create it in Word.

It is important that you are able to recognise planning tools and understand their purpose.

You should know about the components used in different planning tools and be able to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using them. The Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) is a tool used to schedule, organise and coordinate a project.

2. Create a help sheet that could be given to others in the class. It should:

  • Explain the benefits of using a PERT chart.
  • Explain the weaknesses of a PERT chart.
  • Explain the benefits of using a Gantt chart.
  • Explain the weaknesses of a Gantt chart.
  • Explain the benefits of using a visualisation.
  • Explain the weaknesses of a visualisation.
  • Explain the benefits of using a Flow Chart.
  • Explain the weaknesses of a Flow Chart.

Web resources:


3. Illustrate how to create a PERT chart, in particular describe a node and an arc.

4. Copy and complete this PERT calculation.

Task Description Optimistic O Most Likely M Pessimistic P Time Expected T
A Produce software specification 4 7 10  
B Write test plans 7 23 27  
C Software design 11 14 17  
D Software code 10 22 28  
E Developer test 7 23 27  
F Software test 22 29 30  

5. The expected duration of each task has been calculated. The task dependencies are shown in the table below.

Task Description Dependencies Duration
A Produce software specification   1 week
B Write test plans A 3 weeks
C Software design A 2 weeks
D Software code B 3 weeks
E Developer test C 3 weeks
F Software test D, E 4 weeks

Identify the critical path and hence the minimum time to completion. Describe where there is slack time in the system.

6. A new virtual reality roller coaster ride is due to open in 12 months’ time. There will be four multimedia sections for the virtual reality aspect covering different periods in the history of the UK:

  • Victorian era
  • World War II
  • The 1970s
  • Modern times

Each of the multimedia sections will include video, a soundtrack (music, noises, etc.) and a narration guiding the rider through the history of the UK. The planning for these four multimedia sections needs to be completed with ten months remaining on the project. This will then allow the creation of these multimedia sections to be carried out, each within a 2-month period. There can only be a small production team to keep costs down, so the construction of each section will need to be completed before the next one is started.

Using the scenario above construct a mind map that summarises the key points from the project brief and then construct a work plan for the project as a Gantt chart.

7. What are the phases of the project development life cycle?

8. In what phase would the visualisation of the interface for the Emily project take place?

9. When developing a project using the project life cycle it is important that continual reviews take place at the end of each of the phases to ensure that the project is developing as it should. Using the Emily project interface as a planning task that you have already carried out, review its effectiveness based on the following questions:

  • What worked well in the task?
    • Did you make the right choices? If not, why not
  • What did not work well in the task?
  • Did you have to change your plan?
  • Did you run to time on the task?
    • Or did you complete it too quickly/slowly?
    • Why do you think this was?
  • Looking back is there anything that you missed out in your planning?
    • If so why is it important?
  • Looking back was there anything you planned that was not needed and wasted time/resources?
  • Were there any issues and constraints that developed that you needed to consider?
    • How did you deal with these?
  • What would you do differently in your next project?
    • Why is this a good idea?
  • What will you do differently to your plan, in the next phase of the project because of what you have already done?
    • Why have you decided to change from the plan?
  • Was the software used the most suitable or would you use a different one next time
  • Did the task allow you to meet the client/end user’s needs?
  • Did the task solution allow you to proceed with the project?

10. One project that did not meet the defined requirements was the software update to the Nest Smart thermostat in January 2016. Investigate another project that went wrong after they had been installed or failed to meet the defined constraints of time or budget.

 

Examination Questions


Examination type questions

Question 1.

Identify two tasks that are carried out during the planning phase.
(2 marks)

Question 2.

Identify the phase of the project life cycle in which the documentation is created.
(1 mark)

Question 3.

Describe two advantages of following a project life cycle.
(2 marks)

Question 4.

Discuss the implications to a project if the project life cycle is not followed.
(10 marks)

Question 5.

Which phases interact with the planning phase?
(2 marks)

Question 6.

Explain why there is no direct interaction between the evaluation and initiation phases.
(3 marks)

Question 7.

Explain what would happen if any of the tasks in a phase were not completed.
(3 marks)

Question 8.

Identify and describe two user constraints.
(4 marks)

Question 9.

Identify one input to the evaluation phase.
(1 mark)

Question 10.

A user guide is one type of user documentation which may be created during the evaluation phase, identify and describe two other types of user documentation.
(3 marks)

Question 11.

Explain why success criteria must be measurable.
(3 marks)

Question 12.

Give two reasons why it is important to set objectives.
(3 marks)

Question 13.

Explain what is meant by a "dependent task".
(3 marks)

Question 14.

Explain why contingency time should be built into a project plan.
(3 marks)

Question 15.

Identify two components of a PERT chart.
(2 marks)

Question 16.

Describe one strength and one weakness of using project planning software to create project plans.
(3 marks)

Question 17.

Explain how spreadsheet software could be used to create a Gantt chart.
(3 marks)

Question 18.

Explain why it is important to consider reliability when collecting data.
(3 marks)

Question 19.

Describe what is meant by the term "bias".
(2 marks)

Question 20.

Explain why a bank creates a backup of transactions every few minutes but a small shop creates a backup just once a day.
(6 marks)

Version 5

Examination questions.

Question 1.

Identify two tasks that are carried out during the planning phase. (2 marks)

Question 2.

Identify the phase of the project life cycle in which the documentation is created. (1 mark)

Question 3.

Describe two advantages of following a project life cycle. (2 marks)

Question 4.

Discuss the implications to a project if the project life cycle is not followed. (10 marks)

Question 5.

Which phases interact with the planning phase? (2 marks)

Question 6.

Explain why there is no direct interaction between the evaluation and initiation phases. (3 marks)

Question 7.

Explain what would happen if any of the tasks in a phase were not completed. (3 marks)

Question 8.

Identify and describe two user constraints. (4 marks)

Question 9.

Identify one input to the evaluation phase. (1 mark)

Question 10.

A user guide is one type of user documentation which may be created during the evaluation phase, identify and describe two other types of user documentation. (6 marks)

Question 11.

Explain why success criteria must be measurable. (3 marks)

Question 12.

Give two reasons why it is important to set objectives. (3 marks)

Question 13.

Explain what is meant by a "dependent task". (3 marks)

Question 14.

Explain why contingency time should be built into a project plan. (3 marks)

Question 15.

Identify two components of a PERT chart. (2 marks)

Question 16.

Describe one strength and one weakness of using project planning software to create project plans. (4 marks)

Question 17.

Explain how spreadsheet software could be used to create a Gantt chart. (3 marks)

Question 18.

Explain why it is important to consider reliability when collecting data. (3 marks)

Question 19.

Describe what is meant by the term "bias". (2 marks)

Question 20.

Explain why a bank creates a backup of transactions every few minutes but a small shop creates a backup just once a day. (6 marks)

Total 66.

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