People and ICT systems

  • Created by: Jasmin
  • Created on: 07-01-14 19:21

People and ICT systems and characteristics of user

Characteristics of users


  • when a new system is introduced most users will need to be trained to use it
  • in small organisations this will not be feasible and users will be expected to learn the new software themselves

Physical characteristics

  • users with a sensory impairment - user may not be able to read the letters on the screen properly - use a font that is easy to read and make sure that the size of the font is large enough for these users to read
  • blind - 'talking' computer where the words are spoken when typed in by the user, can also use Braille keyboards to enter data and Braille printers
  • physical disability - voice activated systems to put data into the computer
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Environment of use

  • ICT systems can be used at:
    • at home
    • on the move
    • at work

Tasks to be undertaken

  • determine the user requirements
  • automatic methods of data entry could be used - MICR, OCR and OMR, voice recognition
  • user requirements for a website could be:
    • easy to navigate - to quickly find the information they require
    • regular updates - so they do not rely on the wrong information
    • use of the correct font, font colour, font size, background etc. to make text easy to read
    • fast load times - so they do not waste time waiting for webpages to load

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  • big factor
  • older people are making full use of the benefits that ICT brings

Ways in which accessibility of a website or other ICT system can be improved

  • often designed to be used by the general public
  • this includes people of all ages, nationalities, in different situations, wide range of disabilities, different educational backgrounds, different ICT skills
    • use plain, simple language
    • explain difficult words or phrases
    • offer different languages
    • allow a user to have the webpage read aloud to them - ideal for people with sight impairment
    • allow a user to change the size of the text
    • allow the user to change the colour of the background
    • provide users with online help
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How users interact with ICT systems

The need for effective dialogue between humans and machines

  • user needs to be able to issue instructions to the device to tell it what to do and the device needs to tell the user what to do or if there is a problem, what that problem is
  • user can tell the computer what to do and at the same time the computer can interact with the human user by giving them a response. Important because they determine how easy it is to use the ICT system to do a certain task
  • process control screens, digital TVs, mobile phones, computer games, fly-by-wire aircraft, information systems that can be used by members of the public, all make use of innovative user interfaces
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Appropriate interface design to provide effective communication for users

  • Interface must be designed to enable the user to communicate effectively with the device and to also enable the device to communicate with the user
  • A Graphical User Interface (GUI) is the most popular human/computer interface used by software manufacturers for systems and applications software.
    • Windows
    • Icons
    • Menus
    • Pointers
    • Desktop
    • Drag and drop
    • Taskbars
  • Command driven interfaces
    • User has to remember and issue commands to the ICT system to get it to do something
    • Sometimes the commands are entered using the keyboard and sometimes they are entered using lists of commands
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  • Natural Language Interface
    • way humans communicate with one another - talk to the computer

The need for the provision of appropriate help and support for the users of ICT systems

  • Online help
    • users can get help supplied by the package, rather than having to look through manuals or user guides
  • Online help for novice users
    • help screens should explain things simply and giving the user examples
    • software should recognise and anticipate the users' goals and offer assistance to make the task easier
    • allows the users to accomplish their tasks in a short a period as possible
  • Appropriate training
    • online tutorials which guide them through the essential features of the system
    • interactive multimedia training resources provided on CD-ROM or DVD
    • classroom face-to-face teaching/training
    • paper based instructional guides
    • individual tution on a one-to-one basis
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  • Existing user base
    • ask people around you first if do not understand how to use specific features of the software
  • Help desks
    • can leave frustrating users if encounter problems
    • purpose is to give expert advice to users regarding any software and hardware problems they might have
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Working in ICT

Technical skills are those skills that are necessary in order to complete a specific job in ICT.

Programming is a technical skill and not a personal skill.

Personal skills are those skills a person posseses and which are transferrable to any job or task.Examples of personal skills are:

    • listening skills
    • excellent communicator
    • creative
    • good at problem solving
    • good written skills
    • flexible
    • able to work under pressure
    • adaptable
    • team worker
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Business Analyst/systems analyst

Typical roles of a business/systems analyst/project manager include:

    • interview business users to determine their requirements for the system
    • apply the technique of systems analysis to business problems
    • be knowledgeable about the technical options for a particular business problem
    • work with developers and other computer professionals in teams
    • work within budget to produce the best system to solve a business problem

Technical skills needed:

    • knowledge of formal techniques - to be able to apply all the techniques of systems analysis to solve business problem
    • knowledge of application of hardware/software
    • good understanding of both business and ICT
    • project management skills - to coordinate the activities of everyone involved in a project

Personal skills needed:

    • communication skills - to be able to take to users about what they want from the system and to present ideas to management
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    • written skills - to be able to produce clear reports
    • ability to work in teams
    • problem solving skills
    • attention to detail

Software developer/programmer

Typical roles:

    • writing new programs to solve business problems
    • altering existing programming code to get the programs to work differently
    • testing programs to remove errors
    • producing program documentation

Technical skills needed:

    • programming skills
    • testing skills
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Personal skills

    • problem solving skills
    • ability to work in teams
    • attention to detail
    • ability to work under pressure

Web designer/administrator

Typical roles:

    • creating websites that are functional and look good
    • liasing with other staff
    • using programming skills
    • make changes to existing website
    • evaluating effectiveness of website using user comments

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Technical skills:

    • design skills
    • understanding of networks
    • knowledge of psychology - to understand how users interact with websites

Personal skills:

    • creative skills - eye catching designs
    • communication skills - able to liase with other staff
    • willingness to keep up-to-date
    • listening skills

Help desk operator

Typical roles:

    • helping users with their problems
    • answering user problems on phone
    • finding out whether a problem needs a visit by an engineer

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Technical skills

    • good knowledge of software/systems being used or willingness to learn about them
    • netoworking skills
    • hardware skills

Personal skills:

    • listening
    • communication
    • work under pressure
    • willingness to learn new skills
    • work in team
    • approachable

ICT trainer

Typical roles

    • designing courses to help users
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    • keeping up-to-date with latest developments in ICT

Technical skills:

    • skills in software being used
    • trouble shooting skills
    • business skills

Personal skills:

    • teaching skills
    • technical knowledge
    • communication
    • willingness to keep skills up-to-date

Technica/network administrator

Typical roles

    • installing hardware and software
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    • maintaining equiptment
    • ensuring all programs and files are backed up
    • upgrading hardware and software
    • repair hardware and software faults
    • setting up user accounts
    • checking security of hardware and software

Personal skills:

    • technical knowledge
    • problem solving

Effective ICT teams

  • Advantages of working in teams
    • project manager can assign tasks to team member with most experience and skills to do it
    • team members able to come up with ideas together
    • reasonable time frame
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    • motivate each other in team
    • work collectively on a project
  • Disadvantages of working in teams
    • harder to manage
    • friction caused
    • some people better working by themselves
    • if one member does not complete task on time can be affected
    • lots of meetings are needed
    • team members dependent on each other
  • Leading an ICT team
    • team leader must have
      • leadership skills to ensure team leaders have faith in decisions
      • technical skills and knowledge
      • managemet skills
      • skills in using project management software
      • previous team leader experience
      • skills in budget control
      • able to work under pressure
      • presentation and motivational skills
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Skills of team members

  • problem solving
  • strong communication skills
  • ability to work in teams
  • able to adhere to deadlines - time management
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