Last week, our team divided into two project groups: the interface group and the algorithm design group. The interface group met on February 9 to develop a preliminary user interface. The interface team worked through developing the individual screens that will make up the user interface to the Scheduler program. The interface team captured the screen ideas on paper, and they will be converted into screen mock-ups for use in the user manual. The final interface will be coded in Visual C++, but due to the VC++ learning curve, and the fact that Carla already has experience with Visual Basic, VB will be used for the mock-ups.
Some of the issues encountered by the interface team were the degree of flexibility of the scheduler program and how to maximize the clarity/useability of the system to the client.
In order to make the interface easier to use, the interface team went through several interations of the individual interface screens. The interface of the scheduler package is extremely important to the client; therefore, the user's desires (drag & drop capability, graphical, easy to use) have driven the interface design.
On February 11, the entire team met to go over the user manual drafts generated as a result of the February 9 interface team meeting. We decided on a fairly personal and engaging user manual style, as well as a mascot (Swish, a basketball with arms and legs). The writing of the user manual is primarily divided between Brandon and Sara; Carla is coding the screen mock-ups and perhaps writing a small tutorial. Joel and Scott are continuing to work on the design of the scheduling algorithm.
During each team and group meeting, we generate questions for our client, Carl Hatchell. We are continuing to interact with him over email to make sure we are designing a system that will truly meet his needs.