Output Design: Computer output is the most important & direct source of information to the user. The system is accepted by the user only by the quality of its output. If the output is not of good quality, the user is likely to reject the system. Therefore, an effective output design is the major criteria for deciding the overall quality of the system.
While designing the output one should try to accomplish the following:
- Determine what information to present to the user?
- Decide whether to display or print the information.
- Arrange the presentation of information in an acceptable format.
- Decide how to distribute the output to intended recipients.
Output Design Objectives
- Designing output to serve the intended purpose.
- Designing output to fit the user.
- Delivering the appropriate quantity of output.
- Making sure the output is where it is needed.
- Providing the output on time.
- Choosing the right output method.
Output Design Technologies/ Methods
Producing different types of output requires different technologies. Some common output methods are;
Printers are widely used output devices. It is used to generate had copy.
- It is permanent.
- It is portable.
- Its information cannot be changed by the user.
- It provides detailed information.
- Affordable for most organization.
- May be noisy.
- Compatibility problems with computer software.
- May be slow.
Screens as Output
Screens are increasingly popular output technology. It becomes feasible because as their size and prize decreases & their compatibility with other components increases.
- Good for frequently accessed.
- Works in online & real time transmission.
- Require cabling & setup space.
- Is expensive to develop.
Video, Audio & Animation
A video is a complex form of output since it combines the strength & potential emotional impact of audio with a stimulating visual channel.
- Good for the individual user.
- Good for transient messages.
- God where the worker needs hand free.
- Good if the output is highly repetitive.
- Is expensive to develop.
- Needs a dedicated room where the output will not interfere with other tasks.
- Has limited application.
The display of material on CD-ROMs have increased because of the growing demand of multimedia output.
- Speedy retrieval.
- Allows multimedia output.
- Has large capacity.
- Less vulnerable to damage.
- More difficult to develop.
- Expensive to develop.
Design of Output Reports
In designing a printed report, the system analyst incorporates both functional & stylistic considerations so that report supplies the user necessary information in a readable format.
- The heading or title of the report.
- The page number.
- The date of preparation.
- The column headings.
- The grouping of related data items together.
- The use of control breaks.
The stylistic attributes of a printed report include
- The report should be well organized i.e. the report should read from top to bottom & left to right.
- Additional blank spaces between columns also contribute to the readability of a report.
Printed output reports should include proper margins to focus the user’s attention on the material centered on the page & to make reading easier.
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