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Date Created: 11/13/15
Running head: USER INTERFACE 1 User Interface BSA/411 USER INTERFACE 2 User Interface As part of the proposed inventory management and control system, currently being designed for Riordan Manufacturing, this document represents the basic structure of the Customer Shipping and Billing application, user interface (UI), which will be available as a WebApp, via the Riordan corporate intranet site. For this presentation, sequence diagrams were used to depict the user’s experience in two models: 1.) User login and 2.) Sales Order Entry. Sequence diagrams enable developers to illustrate “communication between objects” (in this case, user interface screens) “during the execution of a task” (Pressman & Maxim, 2015, p. 876, para. 1). Although the Riordan system was originally envisioned as an isolated enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite, I have decided to redesign the interface, optimizing it to run in a standard web browser. I based this design on the requirements set forth by Riordan, elicited from their own internal documentation which I obtained through the corporate intranet site. Riordan management has issued a set of standard operating procedures for the process of taking a customer order, by phone or by fax, and entering that sales order into the Customer Billing and Shipping system (“Riordan Manufacturing”, 2014). In the attached diagrams, I have broken that process down into two sequences; to represent the series of screens the user will see along his/her journey, as well as some aspects of the technology that the user will not see. In the UML models, you’ll find a series of boxes at the top of the page, sitting above the object “lifelines.” Inside these boxes are the sequence objects, which communicate with one another during the depicted USER INTERFACE 3 user interaction. The objects labeled “GUI” represent visible web pages that the user will encounter, while those that are not labeled represent invisible, but important parts of the overall system. To analyze the quality of the Riordan WebApp, I relied upon generic attributes suggested by Pressman and Maxim (2015), which are “usability, functionality, reliability, efficiency, and maintainability,” along with two additional categories: security and scalability (p. 372, para. 4). Combining the first two attributes, I approached this project with a “usercentric” mentality, and aimed for simplicity in all aspects of the user interface. As depicted in the attached diagrams, the system prompts the user for all required inputs and displays screens only when they are required. That simplicity also speaks to the reliability of the system, because there are fewer “moving parts” than you might find in a more elaborate, complex design. This Spartan theme carries over into efficiency and maintainability as well, because from my perspective, the Riordan system is supposed to accomplish a purpose – to allow company staff to input customer sales orders, which will later be filled and shipped to the clients. Because I focused on that core objective, the system is built around purpose, and will remain viable for years to come. Security is a key concern for all organizations in the 21 century, so I have depicted the user login process in the first diagram to illustrate the steps he/she will experience, in order to access the Customer Shipping and Billing system. Although Riordan has their own security protocols for the corporate network, I have added another layer to those defenses in the design for this WebApp. Below, you will find both models: USER INTERFACE 4 USER INTERFACE 5 Figure 1 In this model, we see the user login process, as they attempt to access the Riordan Manufacturing Shipping and Billing system. After clicking the “Login” button on his/her screen, the user is taken to a credentials screen, where they are asked for a username and password. Once they input their credentials, the system sends the data to a Session manager, which uses AES encryption to obscure the cleartext entry. Then, if the credentials are verified, the user is passed along to the system Home page, where they can continue the sales order entry process (depicted in the next diagram). If the user enters invalid credentials, the Session manager sends an error message and they are given another opportunity to enter their username and password. USER INTERFACE 6 Figure 2 Pictured here, we see the user interface after a successful login. The user depicted here is a salesperson who has just taken a phone order and wants to enter the order data into the Customer Shipping and Billing System. After selecting the proper menu item from the Home USER INTERFACE 7 page, the user is then passed along to the Create Order screen. They are then prompted to enter the customer’s first and last name, which prompts a message to the Customer Database. Once the customer’s personal data is retrieved, those field are automatically populated into the correct fields on the New Order form. The salesperson then enters the product types and quantities, assigns a delivery date, and finalizes the order. The customer file is updated to reflect the most recent transaction, and the order is processed. The final message on the model is known as a “lost message,” which is received by a system that is outside the scope of this diagram – the Sales Order Database. In the above models, we have seen an accurate, but highlevel depiction of a user logging into the Riordan Manufacturing Shipping and Billing system, followed by a second interaction, in which that same user inputs a customer order into the same system. This simple, but elegant design ensures a long system life, with minor upgrades along the way. The user interface is simple, but effective, and based on the procedures set forth by Riordan Management. USER INTERFACE 8 References Pressman, R.S., & Maxim, B.R. (2015). Software Engineering: A Practioner's Approach (8th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix ebook Collection. University of Phoenix. (2014). Riordan Manufacturing Inventory Management and Control at Riordan Manufacturing [Multimedia]. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, BSA411 Systems Analysis Methodologies website.
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