OSMIS Technical Specification
5.1 Overview of GUI
Analysis was carried out to identify the needs of schools with respect
to a school management system. The main functions of the system were
defined, and keeping in mind the vast array of users with varied
computer skills and cultures, an analysis of the feasibility of certain
designs was conducted where these designs had to meet the criteria of
a multi-platform user base.
1st increment of GUI design, layout and navigation
This task was carried out as follows:
GUI Design Architecture
- Identify modules in the Use Case to implement. From the
analysis of user requirements conducted, the consortium prioritised
the following modules to be developed as part of iteration 1:
- School module
- Educator Module
- Learner Module
- Subject Module
- Assessment module
- Identify what information is to be grouped in the above
modules. A further prioritisation within these modules was carried
data was priority and to be included in this iteration, and what data
could be left to later iterations.
Certain criteria for the GUI architecture were laid down through the
analysis process. Several schools indicated that although they
possessed management systems, these were not utilised due to their
being non-intuitive and navigation not immediately apparent to the
users. With this in mind, in consultation with experts and schools,
the following guidelines were followed.
Emis Tab Information
- Workflow guidelines
- Consistency throughout the system
- Users should intuitively and clearly know where they are in
the system at all times
- It should take two clicks to get anywhere in the system
- Use cases involving an extended step e.g. Searching are
expressed as a logical representation. As many as possible of these
are re-used in several modules
- Provide intuitive defaults
- User input should be validated
- Windowing guidelines
- Consistency throughout the system
- The user is placed in a look and choose mindset as opposed to a
remember and enter mindset
- A Selectable folder system on the left hand side of the window
ensures navigation menu through Primary modules and is a dynamic
feature, which expands into sub modules to avoid clutter and avoid
more than two levels of cascading menus. This feature is present in
every window throughout the system irrespective of where the user
- The module of choice is highlighted for navigation control in
the folder system as well as being clearly displayed between the
toolbar and the tab pane.
- This application contains several child windows for the
different tasks a user might perform. These tasks can be accessed
easily through the tab panes. The tabs reflect collections of
similar type data, these panes are the secondary windows of
information and appear to the user initially in default mode. Should
the user want to take any action, the action button available per
tab is placed consistently in the bottom right hand corner, unless
it is a special button to be used within the same tab.
- Controls or action buttons have been grouped together; only the
action buttons that apply to that page have been placed within the
border of the tabbed pane.
- In the title bar we have included the tab pane name and the
mode of the pane for clarity as to where the user is within a
module. Providing a descriptive title bar within each window will
help greatly to remind the user what tab items or buttons were
pressed to bring them to the window now in focus.
- Common action button Guidelines
||Accept data entered or acknowledge information presented and
remove the window
||Do not accept data entered and remove the window. Display
||Save data entered and stay in current window
||Clear changed fields. Return fields to initial values and stay
in current window
||Open editable field tabbed pane
||Open new tabbed pane for entry not previously in system
||Remove complete profile from system
- Search Guidelines
- User will select a module and the default display tabbed pane of
the module should appear.
- Any module with a search facility will indicate this by the
search being a sub module function.
- This search facility can be utilised in whichever tab the user
deems a need for a search.
- The search tab is invoked; the user performs the search and
makes a selection.
- Once the selection is made the system defaults to the window
where the user invoked the search and populates the related
information for the search done.
- This process was followed to keep the look of the system
consistent with the two-click ideology as well as consistent in the
folder and tab design methodology followed.
As the system was designed with future enhancements in mind, the Emis
extraction of data from the system is a potential future
enhancement. This data should be worked into the system sooner rather
than later. Where information is pertinent to Emis purposes only, it
has been grouped in an Emis tab, which does not need to be accessed
unless the user so chooses.