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Input(s) and Output(s)

As discussed earlier, inputs and outputs are an important part of any system, so while designing a system inputs and outputs of the system as a whole need to be identified and the inputs and outputs for the various processes of the system need to be listed down.

During design of input, the analyst should decide on the following details:

  • What data to input

  • What medium to use

  • How data should be arranged

  • How data should be coded i.e. data representation conventions

  • The dialogue to guide users in providing input i.e. informative messages that should be provided when the user is entering data. Like saying, "It is required. Don't leave it blank."

  • Data items and transactions needing validation to detect errors

  • Methods for performing input validation and steps to follow when errors occur

The design decisions for handling input specify how data are accepted for computer processing. The design of inputs also includes specifying the means by which end-users and system operators direct the system in performing actions.

Output refers to the results and information that are generated by the system. In many cases, output is the main reason for developing the system and the basis on which the usefulness of the system is evaluated. Most end-users will not actually operate the information system or enter data through workstations, but they will use the output from the system.

While designing the output of system, the following factors should be considered:

  • Determine what information to present

  • Decide on the mode of output, i.e. whether to display, print, or "speak" the information and select the output medium

  • Arrange the presentation of information in an acceptable format

  • Decide how to distribute the output to intended recipients

These activities require specific decisions, such as whether to use preprinted forms when preparing reports and documents, how many lines to plan on a printed page, or whether to use graphics and color. The output design is specified on layout forms, sheets that describe the location characteristics (such as length and type), and format of the column heading, etc.

Other Design Elements

See Also


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