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Direct Manipulation

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					       Direct Manipulation

              Proposal 17
Direct Manipulation is when physical actions are used
instead of commands. E.g. In a word document when
the user inputs data using the keypad instead of having
 to input via a command line editor.




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                     3 Tasks

Three tasks that the user will perform on the interface
of the universities library website are as follows:
1. Records of the books borrowed
2. Searching for books
3. Extending loans on books




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  Records of books borrowed
A user with a login to the university website can view the books that he/she
has previously borrowed. To allow the user this type of interaction, the home
page of the website should have an image relating to this page. Once this
image has been selected a following page should be viewed allowing the user
to see all the books they have previously borrowed from the library.
This is available on the previous website interface but is especially useful if
the user wants to know which books were responsible for different quotes
that he/she has found. Another use for this feature is one book may have been
useful and the user might want to borrow this book again for a consecutive
time.
The idea of having an image in the homepage linking to the page that shows
the records of the books borrowed is using data manipulation and is in a way
relating the user to real life in the sense that the icon could be a book with the
title on the book saying list and therefore a list of books in the real world
would be some sort of book list and this is in this case books that have been
borrowed.
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             Searching for books
This is another essential to the website which could also be selected in a
similar way to the previous slide of records of books that have already been
borrowed. In this case, searching for books could have a torch as the
designated icon as people in real life search for things that have been lost with
torches. Although, in this case, nothing has been lost but there is something
that needs to be found (books).
Once the icon has been selected and the corresponding page has been loaded
by the browser, the interface should show a box where the user can type the
name of the author, title of the book etc. and also select which they are doing
whether it be searching for the author, title of book or both etc.
In the idea of using data manipulation, the box where the user will type data
into would be displayed underneath the selecting of book or author that they
will be searching for to keep the user stepping down in orders of how the page
should be completed. Finally finishing with a search button at the bottom of
the page.
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       Extending loans on books
In the idea of making the interface better and also more useful for the user the new
task of allowing the user to extend there loans on books is an addition to the website.
This will be helpful as the user does not need to physically visit the library to extend
there loan this can be simply done online; this is much to the extent of the idea
behind online banking and managing your money via the internet.
To show an icon that would represent extending a loan, I will show a calendar as the
days of which the book should be returned will be extended.
This will also be on the home page to the website and will pass over to the
corresponding page once the icon has been clicked. Again using data manipulation in
the sense that it is the user who will be manipulating the data when he/she decides
how long the loans are going to be etc. this could be displayed on a page similar to
the others described in that there could be a drop down box with the amount of days
possible for the book to be extended in terms of the loan and this restriction (drop
down box) will allow the user to make no mistakes as the data can only be selected
and this has already been checked for mistakes.
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      Metaphor for the Interface
The basis behind the interface of the website is a cabinet. The idea being that
the user starts with the home page, which in effect is the cabinet when it is
opened and then the user selects where they wish to go whether this be to search
for files, which could be the top drawer to the cabinet or it be to extend a loan
and that be to the bottom drawer.
The other option of extending a loan for a book could be shown in the sense that
a file is pulled out of the drawer, modified by the user and then placed back into
the drawer.




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  Choosing a cabinet as the metaphor
I chose a cabinet as the metaphor for the website as people can relate to this due to
the idea behind a library and reserving books being similar to that of which people
can do with cabinets. E.g. people can place socks in one drawer whilst placing tops
in the next. Much to the same case people can adapt files in different orders into
different drawers in cabinets and this is the example which most relates to the idea
behind my interface idea.
Therefore when people wish to search for something be it a book or records of a
book; they would search for this in the same categorised way as they would a top
or some other piece of clothing.
Also a cabinet is a very simple way of describing how the interface works, if I
chose a metaphor that related to a roller coaster with loops etc then the user would
become confused and therefore a cabinet is a simple metaphor that everyone can
relate to as anyone with a house is likely to have a chest of drawers if not a cabinet.


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            What is in the interface
The interface will have three main drawers in the way there would be in a cabinet. These will
be labelled as follows in icons instead of writing to try to relate the user in as simple way as
possible to the contents in the “drawers” or folders.
Therefore one of the icons that will be displayed on the home page which in effect is the link
to the openings of the various different drawers is the icon for searching to find books and the
icon for this is a torch. The reason behind this being that a torch is a way in which people can
relate to searching. Also people would not search using a search engine to find their socks
however a torch would be used in the dark to find all sorts of different things and therefore
that is why I have picked a torch as the icon for searching.
The second icon is the calendar which is used as the icon for extending loans and this is much
in the sense that the days in the calendar will be extended from when the book was supposed
to be returned to when it is actually meant to be returned.
The last icon is records of books that have been borrowed in the past and for this the icon that
I have chosen is a book with the writing list on it. I feel a book list idea is a good way of
relating the user to the contents of this page.


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   Interface Design – Home page
The home page to the website has a very simple interface. This is to minimize the way that the
user can go wrong in the process of completing what it is that they want to accomplish
whether it be extending a loan on a book or simply finding one. That is why three simple icons
have been noted to designate the different areas of the website. The user simply clicks on one
of the icons and this will take them to the corresponding page. To make things more simple
once the icon has the mouse pointer over it the name of the page that is to be visited will be
displayed above the icon. This again minimises the chances of the user losing their place on
the website. Although using the browser window they can simply go back to the page that they
were on in the first place. Also keeping the interface simple and not using any other
components that a user may not have with them e.g. a touch screen monitor, the interface stays
simple using a mouse pad and the keyboard. Even though this may not be the best thing in the
sense two components need to be used, this cannot be avoided if the mouse is to be used as it
would be difficult and more time consuming to develop a keyboard on screen for the user to
type into or to guess everything that the user was going to type e.g. the name of the book – all
book names would have to be loaded into a drop down box therefore it is easier to use two
components.



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  Interface design – task pages
Once the home page links have been selected the following task
pages will be loaded by the browser. This can be any of the
previously mentioned tasks. E.g. searching for books. So
therefore when searching for a book the user will need to search
for the book by first selecting the way in which they are going to
search whether it be title, author etc. and then they will need to
type the name into the box that will be underneath the first step
and then the user will select the search button and results will be
brought up and shown to the user. The user can then go on to do
whatever they please whether it be return to the homepage or
exit from the library website.

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  Mappings – searching for a book
How the user performs it:     Goes to the library and searches along book
                                        shelf
How the interface performs it: Searches the database for the name that has been
                               inputted.
How the user performs it:     Once found the user can then take out the book
How the interface performs it: Displays the book on the web page.




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