(City & State)
This report is important in the development of an information system that will migrate the company’s documentation to the digital platform of information management unlike the conventional paper based management of the company properties. The information system development identifies the various functionalities and their characteristics in reference to the business needs of the company. The system can, however, not be complete without considering the interface elements that define its functionality and usability. As such, the next stage utilizes the human computer interface design principles to deliver the anticipated motive. The help of the Honda brochures has been instrumental in the third section of information analysis using semantics while the final stage critically explores the global implications of the project in the automotive industry.
Lists of figures
Figure 1: ERD diagram of the system 6
Figure 2: Consistency (a) 10
Figure 3: Consistency (b) 11
Figure 4: Constraints 12
Figure 5: Description example 14
This report is divided into four tasks that are going to be dealt with in respect to the Auto Car Company. The first section will highlight the development of an information system and deliver an overview of what the system is supposed to deliver in respect to car management. In this age and time where computer applications are instrumental in the attainment of business goals, an information system is a must for the management of company resources and personnel. The next section deals with the human computer interface and the elements to be considered in order to develop a usable and friendly interface. Thirdly, the report will focus on the analytical and critical review of the design principles based on both the pragmatic, semantic and syntactic semiotic analysis. Finally, the critical thinking and globalization analysis and review is conducted to form an opinion on the trends and innovations in the motor industry.
The manager of Auto Car Company requires the development of an information system that is used for the management of the various cars on the lot. The purpose of this information system is to aid in the tracking and management of the cars in the company. This includes allocation, servicing, fuelling, repair and maintenance, rentals and car hire service. The cars owned by the company include the various models of Honda allocated according to the specifications of the user.
The company offers cars to its employees in the higher echelons of power as well as those involved in projects that require extensive travelling. In addition, it offers car rentals and hires services to other external companies and individuals. For an employee to be allocated a car, it must satisfy the required company specifications. The employee must be travelling outside the town defined by more than hundred and fifty miles. In addition, it must sign it to the system by providing the personal details such as employee number and the kind of business involved.
Staff and clients confirm their allocation through proper documentation to show the project they are involved in or payment respectively. After the allocation, their distance of travel determines the parameters for fueling and service. All users are required to check into the system during the time they leave the car yard and when they return. Thus, the information system is able to retrieve the car users at any time, their status and the type of vehicle they are driving.
Figure 1: ERD diagram of the system
In the scenario, the objects involve the employees, outside clients, car models and the projects. As such, a user requesting to be allocated a car with certain specifications determined by the projects involved and the management rank. The attributes of the car include the engine size, amount of fuel used, projects involved as well as the expenditure of the user.
Objects and attributes
The company has a range of cars that suite each and every scenario. This includes Honda CRV, CR-Z, and Honda Sedan among others. The cars combine sophistication, safety, security and speed to deliver as per the user’s needs. The car is used by the management for business purposes due to its advanced capabilities. In managing the lot, the information system automatically respond with the kind of car that can be allocated to a particular class of employee. Different details such as the color, engines power and the kind of service required is available and is feed to the user at the point of allocation. Likewise, the list of the current users is easily printable.
HUMAN COMPUTER INTERFACE
The objective of this location is to develop an interface that is usable and friendly to both employees and clients. This section particularly focuses on the design elements and philosophies that can be utilized in the system development process to yield what is beneficial to the user. The user guide developed will accelerate the user learning process and facilitate the input and completion of tasks in the system.
Auto Car company requires an information system for the management of it’s fleet of cars for business and employee use. The report involves the development of a system that is used for the customer and employee allocation of cars, payments, authentication of the journey and receipts of the cars after the use. In addition, the project involves the development of an email that is universally acceptable to the employee’s fraternity in terms of usability and efficiency. The illustration below shoes the mock up screens for the Auto Car Company management system.
The design of the system was based on the user-centered concept that puts the needs of the user first among other things. The primary users of the system are identified to include employees in the management portfolio, receptionist and the technical employees. Not all groups of users are conversant with computer use, and as such, the system developed should permit the easy usage of those with computer skills and those with little knowledge. With the use of interviews and questionnaires, we sampled responses from the staff on the type of system they anticipate having. This involvement of staff provided a clear overview of what needs to be in the system. The result defined the development of a system that has less data but detailed enough to perform all the operations required. A prototype developed was deployed and reviewed periodically after improvement until a system that was desired by the users was ready.
Description of the Design
The system developed will allow users at the Auto Car Company to allocate, track and manage the company vehicles using a computerized platform. It will provide users with a new way to manage the allotment of cars to staff and external users, which the conventional, paper system would not do. Users are able to book for a car online and confirm the booking by providing the details of the project involved for the staff user and making of the payment by the external clients. The system upon allocation will provide the mechanism for online payments. It has the features and capabilities to record new appointments, adjust the collection time as well as cancel the appointment. Similarly, it utilizes API technologies to integrate tracking software’s that determines the locations of any car at a given time. Each of this information is quoted and can be printed through the use of a template that is in conformity with the company standards.
The design process of a car management information system followed the fundamental design elements of human computer interaction. All the elements are discussed briefly to illustrate its significance in application to the system.
The location of the buttons on the screen guides the user in the implementation of the next step. This principle is known as visibility and is based on the fact that the more visible the direction of buttons on the screen, the more the user is aware of what the next operation is. The project involves the user of brightly colored and labeled menus to give the user a recognizable and friendly interface. Appendix 1 demonstrates the visibility principle meant to give a driving interface that guides the user on the booking and confirmation process of the cars.
The buttons are readily available for the user to click on to advance to the next level. This feature removes the memory strain that could have otherwise been needed to keep the operation in motion.
Feedback is the response that the user is feed with once he initiates an operation. In order to realize that the process is progressing towards the completion, the system should respond in respect to the inputs of booking and allocation. These responses signify the occurrence of an activity through the transition into new pages, delivering prompts on the input of payment processes, and sequence of opening new taps. The user interface of the feedback is shown in Appendix B.
The location of buttons such as submit keys and confirm should be at a consistent position throughout all the pages. This eliminates confusion associated with inconsistent buttons and icons for new users. Therefore, the learning process is quickened, and the user is able to use similar elements and operations to complete similar tasks. Memorizing the processes is also enhanced giving regular users an easy ride in operating system.
Figure 2: Consistency (a)
Figure 3: Consistency (b)
According to the use of design element of constraint states that the “world naturally restricts the allowed behavior of operations on objects such as the order in which parts go together and the way that objects can be manipulated” has been implemented. This signifies that the next operation cannot be implemented without the completion of the existing one. As such, according to the principle, the allocation of the car cannot be implemented without the completion of payment and feeding of project details for the external clients and staff respectively. This protects the business from losses and misuse of the company vehicles through irregular allocation to employees, colleagues and unauthorized staff.
Figure 4: Constraints
The interaction between humans and the computer system is only beneficial if the usability measurement parameters are favorable thereby implying that the product under construction has attained its intended use. The major goal of the project includes attainment of efficiency, effectiveness, learnability, memorability safety and utility. It refers to how well the system is in performing the tracking, management and control of the company cars. The management will need the records of car use by the employees and external clients, in order to determine the expenditure and revenue it brought to the company. Utility is achieved if the intended operation of the system to track and manage the use of the company cars id geared towards adherence. Otherwise, the system would not be beneficial if misuse is still witnessed even after upgrading from the paper based system.
The report is concerned with the analysis of the CV-HONDA brochure published by the Honda Inc. as per January 2013.
The aim of the company is creating a car model that combines both SUV capability and urban civility. The car model is perfectly a fit of the two features. The pictures haven been included to illustrate the balances it draws to give a smooth flowing lines and aerodynamic sports structure as well as true comfort that defines the inter-city and outdoors atmosphere. The new CR-V integrates both design and practicability to deliver a product with advanced sleek new look.
The description of the new windscreen window for instance, which has been moved forward to leave enormous interior room space and passage in the same device delivers validity and truth in reference to the pictures. On the other hand, the design is muscular with strong front bumper and bold wheel arches, curved rear class window and its signature vertical rear brake lights. The design is arguably smaller on the outside but truly bigger interior than the boot. The picture below illustrates the new design CR-V model.
Figure 5: Description example
Dominant colors have been used to put relevance to Honda’s latest model CR-V provides more choices by using less. The company has delivered the state of the art engine that squeezes maximum performance out of every drop of fuel it takes. With the 2.0 liter i-VTEC petrol engine, it consumes just 7.7l/100Km and at the time emits less carbon dioxide.
The use of graphics within the text to describe the engine power is exemplary either; it gives 114kW of power and 190Nm of torque. The four wheel version comes with a 2.4 L I-VTEC engine that delivers 140Kw of power and 222Nm of torque with only 8.7l/100km fuel consumption rate. Other notable features that have been illustrated by the company through the use of graphics is the Eco Assist and ECON Mode that triggers automatic air conditioning and onboard efficiency coaching. The transmission is delivered on a 6-speed manual and 5-speed automatic with the advanced Grade Logic Control in the automatic mode.
The brochure is available in PDF format for printing and availability over the internet on virtually every computer. PDF presents a professional and legitimate look that preserves the formatting of the document.
Safety is the company’s significant concern in the new model. The brochure contains images that outline the safety illustrations to aid in understanding.
The picture below illustrates the safety parameters in the new design. It involves the automatic tension belts, whiplash mitigation front seats, SRS bags, leaving home/ coming home lights, motion adaptive electric power steering maps and active cornering lights. All this are included to put the safety of the user at best manageable limits.
CRITICAL THINKING AND GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS
The automotive industry has had a myriad of problems in the past due to lack of management systems to define their operations. In addition, the rapid emission of environmentally harmful residues has impacted negatively on the sector. Pressure has been mounted for the production of fuel-efficient vehicles and hybrids that are efficient in conservation of the environment. The industry is arguably the best in terms of employment with over 3 million people in North America alone. Majority of this group of people are dealers and, therefore, lack of property management systems in a competitive industry like this implies that small and medium enterprises would be hard to survive.
Therefore, to remain competitive companies such as Auto Car need to integrate technology in the operations in order to remain sustainable as well as the source for efficient and reliable manufactures such as Honda who utilize state of the art technologies to come up with environmentally efficient vehicles. The practice will ensure that customer satisfaction for products and services offered is at an all-time high, and the performance parameters such as ISO standards are implemented correctly.
The up to date knowledge about customer preferences and trends are necessary to ensure that companies get a competitive edge and achieve sustainability. Future systems should be designed in a way that customer feedback is allowed to ensure continued improvement brand awareness and loyalty.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The new computerized system will be beneficial in the management of company resources. The system has been developed with special consideration on the HCI principles. It has also applied user-centered and usability techniques to evaluate its effectiveness. It is recommended that the data stores for the system be developed with competent personnel and the security apparatus e put in place to ensure maximum usability. The system could also be extended to other areas within the company such as supplies and human resource management.
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APPENDIX A: VISIBILITY OF USER INTERFACE
APPENDIX B: FEEDBACK