Human Computer Interface

I need an explanation for this Computer Science question to help me study.

Work-Hour Registration

Background

At all entries to the Happy Life insurance company, there are card readers that can read the ID cards for the employees. When an employee swipes her card in the reader, the system checks that she is allowed to pass. If so, it opens the door and records the time she passed. There is a card reader on each side of the door, so the system can record whether the employee arrived or left.

If an employee forgets to use his card, for instance, because she passed together with a colleague, the system cannot record anything. If the employee inserts her card several times within a short time, for instance, because she isn’t sure that the system recorded him correctly, the system records only one time. An employee may come and go several times a day, and the system records all arrival and departure times.

New System

The personnel department of Happy Life wants a system that can record the work hours of all employees based on the recorded arrival times and departure times. The company wants to introduce flexi-time, where employees to a large extent can decide when they want to arrive and leave as long as the weekly total is the required number of hours. If an
employee works more hours than required in a week, he may work fewer hours in later weeks. One purpose of the recording is to keep track of this.

The difference between the hours worked and the required hours is called the flex-status. All employees are very interested in this status. If they have worked too many hours, they are allowed to take hours off – even single days. If they have worked too few hours, they have to catch up – or they will have trouble with the boss.

The basic idea is that employees do the necessary registration themselves, primarily by means of the card reader, but also manually by means of a PC connected to the internal computer network.

In case an employee has forgotten to use his ID card, he must be able to record his work hours manually. (If he does this too often, his boss may see it in the statistics and want to have a talk with him.) Many employees also want to check what the system has recorded automatically.

In addition, an employee must be able to manually record special reasons for not being at work: External meetings (for instance with customers), participation in external courses, vacation, leave due to birth, illness. All of these are considered a kind of work hours outside the company premises, and the company wants to keep track of how many
hours are spent on each of these things.

It may also happen that employees have leisure activities on the company premises, for instance, table tennis or meetings on local community matters. The hours spent on this should be excluded from the automatically recorded work hours, and honest employees will record this manually.

Finally, the employees must be able to see their own flex-status and check that it has been computed correctly. Although the basic idea is that employees do the recording themselves, there may be situations where this is not possible, for instance in case of prolonged illness or overseas work for a period. For this reason, each employee should
authorize two other employees to be able to act on his behalf, for instance, check his flex-status and record work hours manually.

The system must be used by all employees, including cafeteria staff and guards that have very little IT experience.

Assumptions

There are around 500 employees in Happy Life. They have initials (their abbreviated name) which are also part of their email address, but they don’t remember each other’s initials. We simplify the project in this way: All employees have a workday of 8 hours on any day of the week including Saturdays and Sundays. Nobody will work across midnight. The system knows about holidays, where people are not expected to work.

Requirements

1. (Weight: 40%) Design a prototype for the system. Make the prototype as a paper or tool-drawn mock-up. Write
down a list of the user tasks that the system must support. Use your design intuition, the usability principles, and the
gestalt laws we discussed in class.

Your answer should contain:
• A list of user tasks
• The prototype – ready for a usability test.

2. (Weight: 20%) Have a colleague who knows about usability look at the prototype you developed in question #1. Ask him/her to find as many usability problems in it as possible. Write a list of them.

3. (Weight: 40%) Carry out a usability test of the prototype you developed in question 1.
• Write the test tasks
• Carry out the test.
• Write the usability problems you found (with the severity classification). Indicate your evaluation method (e.g. heuristic evaluation) for your work in question 2.
• Suggest solutions to the critical usability problems (just write down how you would solve it. Don’t redesign the prototype).

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