Input Output and Forms Design

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In this article you’ll learn about Input Output and Forms Design its objective

Input Design

In an information system, input is the raw data this is processed to produce output. at some point of the input design, the developers have to consider the input devices together with PC, MICR, OMR, etc.

Therefore, the nice of system input determines the nice of system output. Well designed input forms and screens have following properties −

  • It should serve specific purpose effectively such as storing, recording, and retrieving the information.
  • It ensures proper completion with accuracy.
  • It should be easy to fill and straight forward.
  • It should focus on user’s attention, consistency, and simplicity.

All these objectives are obtained using the knowledge of basic design principles regarding −

  1. What are the inputs needed for the system?
  2. How end users respond to different elements of forms and screens.

Objectives for Input Design

The objectives of input design are −

  • To design data entry and input procedures
  • To reduce input volume
  • To design source documents for data capture or devise other data capture methods
  • To design input data records, data entry screens, user interface screens, etc
  • To use validation checks and develop effective input controls

Data Input Methods

It is important to design appropriate data input methods to prevent errors while entering data. These methods depend
on whether the data is entered by customers in forms manually and later entered by data entry operators, or data is
directly entered by users on the PCs.

A system should prevent user from making mistakes by −

Input Output and Forms Design
  • Clear form design by leaving enough space for writing legibly.
  • Clear instructions to fill form.
  • Clear form design.
  • Reducing key strokes.
  • Immediate error feedback.

Some of the popular data input methods are −

  • Batch input method (Offline data input method)
  • Online data input method
  • Computer readable forms
  • Interactive data input

Input Integrity Controls

Input integrity controls include a number of methods to eliminate common input errors by end-users. They also
include checks on the value of individual fields; both for format and the completeness of all inputs.

Audit trails for data entry and other system operations are created using transaction logs which gives a record of all
changes introduced in the database to provide security and means of recovery in case of any failure.

Output Design

The design of output is the most important task of any system. During output design, developers identify the type of
outputs needed, and consider the necessary output controls and prototype report layouts.

Objectives of Output Design

The objectives of output design are −

  • To develop output design that serves the intended purpose and eliminates the production of unwanted output.
  • To develop the output design that meets the end users requirements.
  • To deliver the appropriate quantity of output.
  • To form the output in appropriate format and direct it to the right person.
  • To make the output available on time for making good decisions
  • Let us now go through various types of outputs

External Outputs

Manufacturers create and design external outputs for printers. External outputs enable the system to leave the
trigger actions on the part of their recipients or confirm actions to their recipients.

Some of the external outputs are designed as turn around outputs, which are implemented as a form and re-enter
the system as an input.

Input Output and Forms Design

Internal outputs

Internal outputs are present inside the system, and used by end-users and managers. They support the management in
decision making and reporting.

There are three types of reports produced by management information −

  • Detailed Reports − They contain present information which has almost no filtering or restriction generated to assist
    management planning and control.
  • Summary Reports − They contain trends and potential problems which are categorized and summarized that are
    generated for managers who do not want details.
  • Exception Reports − They contain exceptions, filtered data to some condition or standard before presenting it to the
    manager, as information.

Output Integrity Controls

Output integrity controls include routing codes to identify the receiving system, and verification messages to confirm
successful receipt of messages that are handled by network protocol.

Printed or screen-format reports should include a date/time for report printing and the data. Multipage reports
contain report title or description, and pagination. Pre-printed forms usually include a version number and effective
date

Forms Design

Both forms and reports are the product of input and output design and are business document
consisting of specified data. The main difference is that forms provide fields for data input but reports are purely
used for reading. For example, order forms, employment and credit application, etc.

During form designing, the designers should know −

  • Who will use them
  • Where would they be delivered
  • The purpose of the form or report

Objectives of Good Form Design

  • A good form design is necessary to ensure the following −
  • To keep the screen simple by giving proper sequence, information, and clear captions.
  • To meet the intended purpose by using appropriate forms.
  • To ensure the completion of form with accuracy.
  • To keep the forms attractive by using icons, inverse video, or blinking cursors etc.
  • To facilitate navigation

Types of Forms

1.Flat Forms :

Input Output and Forms Design
  • It is a single copy form prepared manually or by a machine and printed on a paper. For additional copies of the
    original, carbon papers are inserted between copies.
  • It is a simplest and in expensive form to design, print, and reproduce, which uses less volume.

2.Unit Set/Snap out Forms

  • These are papers with one-time carbons interleaved into unit sets for either handwritten or machine use.
  • Carbons may be either blue or black, standard grade medium intensity. Generally, blue carbons are best for
    handwritten forms while black carbons are best for machine use.

3.Continuous strip/Fanfold Forms

  • These are multiple unit forms joined in a continuous strip with perforations between each pair of forms.
  • It is a less expensive method for large volume use.

4.No Carbon Required (NCR) Paper

  • They use carbonless papers which have two chemical coatings (capsules), one on the face and the other on the
    back of a sheet of paper.
  • When pressure is applied, the two capsules interact and create an image.
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