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Design Resource Center Proposal

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Design Resource Center proposal (1999) - A little dated in the particulars, but addresses fundamental issues

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Design Resource Center Proposal

  1. 1. Dow Jones Markets Design Resource Center Proposal Design Resource Center Proposal John VaughanAssumptionsConsistency, standardization and overall quality in both documentation and user interface designof Technical Development Group software products need improvement. Existing resources forimplementing these features should be centralized, systematized and expanded.TerminologyFor purposes of this document the term “user interface design” broadly includes: the internal documentation of software products which are used by developers, designers, managers, client partners and other project staff during the product development process the external documentation of software which are used by customers, end users and support staff to maintain the software product once it is released the inherent documentation which is embedded within the software product itself: the functional implementation of features in software products, the “look and feel” of the GUI, the Online Help, application “wizards” design services such as requirements gathering, modeling and usability testing media production services such as graphics, video, animation, audio, multimedia, web enablement extended product support such as training, customer support, marketing presentationsRecommendationsEstablish Design Resource Center (DRC) to provide a centralized resource for user interfacedesign services. The DRC has a management line, a budget for staff and equipment and amandate from department management to provide a broad range of interface design supportservices to all projects the Advanced Applications Group (Group). Generally, we group theseservices under: • Design Resource Center Library • Design Services • The Media Studio • Product SupportThe DRC operates across multiple projects within the Group. Every Group project has a DRC“user interface champion” assigned to it. The champion works closely with the Project Managerin supervising and implementing the delivery of DRC services. The role of the DRC championis to act as an advocate for the user perspective throughout the design process and to deliverDRC services to the project.Filename: djdrcproposalshort-13318259019305-phpapp02-120315104035-phpapp02.doc Page 1 Printed: 2/20/00
  2. 2. Dow Jones Markets Design Resource Center ProposalDesign Resource Center RolesProject Support  Participate in project development process from inception, working closely with Project Manager  Responsible for the development & maintenance of all documentation  Responsible for media production  Responsible for user interface designStandardization  Identify and develop consistent, global user interface modules which can be shared by multiple Group projects  Define & enforce user interface standards for all Group software  Systematize documentation creation processes for all Group Projects  Oversee and sign off on all graphical elements developed for Group software user interface and documentationManagement  Consult with Group management to establish: scope of DRC needs, an appropriate budget and allocation of resources to Group projects  Establish the parameters for working relationship with Project Managers  Manage Design Resource production & support facilities and staff  Work with Group management and Project Managers to delineate criteria for future documentation and interface design of Group software productsDesign Resource Center Services Design Resource Center LibraryThe DRC establishes and manages central online design reference information & resources forall managers and developers of Group, as well as a focused reference database for individualprojects. This online support system is delivered on Lotus Notes platform. The DRC Librarysystem provides the “bottom line” of service provided to all Group projects:  Offers common, easy-to-use and manage design resource reference system for Group projects  Authorizes appropriate access (read, edit, create/delete) for Group members  Acts as central clearing house for documentation and interface design standardsThe DRC Library provides information support to the Group on 2 levels:General Reference DatabaseOrganizes reference materials which are available to all developers and all Group projects. Development Directory of Group developers, resource people & managersFilename: djdrcproposalshort-13318259019305-phpapp02-120315104035-phpapp02.doc Page 2 Printed: 2/20/00
  3. 3. Dow Jones Markets Design Resource Center Proposal Project Documentation Library of documents which have been released for general reference; includes print-based design documents Documentation Template Kit organizational structure and presentational stylesheet for any documents which are produced by Group User Interface Design StyleSheet user interface guidelines and design conventions Technical Glossary terminology & acronyms; cross-referenced Code Module Library reusable code modules and appropriate documentation are identified and coded Media Library reusable graphics, logos, icons, animations, video, photo imagesProject Reference DatabaseCreate unique workspace area under Lotus Notes which contains basic reference information foreach individual Group project. This provides a convenient central repository for sharedinformation about the project. The Project Resource Database is developed in close cooperationwith the Project Manager. Only immediate project members and managers have access to thisdatabase. Project Contact List of immediate project members and other relevant people Project Timeline and Milestones maintained by Project Manager. Project Documentation Library contains Functional Requirements, Design Specifications, User Manuals, Glossary, Support Materials (graphics, flow charts, tables) Design ServicesThe DRC also offers a range of interface development design services, some of which areoptional and may be contracted on an “as needed” basis by individual Group projects.Requirements Gathering based on use case, task-based analysis, to be included in all Group documentation (mandatory)GUI Design for all Group projects is provided by DRC; enforced conformance to DRC standards (mandatory)Software Modeling is used both to identify project requirements and to develop the user interface (optional)Usability Testing should be reiterative throughout the project life and should include assessment by human factors professionals (optional)Upgrade Legacy Software and existing documentation to DRC design standards as best possible (optional) The Media StudioThe DRC establishes and maintains a facility with the tools and skills to provide a full range ofmedia production services to all Group projects (includes video & web enablement).Filename: djdrcproposalshort-13318259019305-phpapp02-120315104035-phpapp02.doc Page 3 Printed: 2/20/00
  4. 4. Dow Jones Markets Design Resource Center ProposalMedia Library (in the DRC Library) for developer use: icons, illustrative graphics, flow charts & diagrams, photographic images, company logos, 3-D imagery, charts & graphs and Web materialsPresentation Standards DRC “signs off” on any media to be released as a part of a Group project imagery, charts & graphs and Web materialsWeb Enablement DRC provides resource center for graphics and implementation of web GUI’s Product SupportDocumentation and user interface design are naturally extensible to these supporting roles:Embedded Help Design documentation with an eye towards implementing it as online help which is embedded within the finished product. In certain instances a targeted task (such as installation) may be developed as a “wizard”, which has certain properties of a training module.Customer Support Ongoing customer support will be most efficiently delivered by an online database of documentation, tutorials and FAQ’s, which are available either for reference by the Product Support technician or for direct access by the customer (via intranet or CD-ROM)..Training Documentation materials also provide the basis for development of Computer Based Training software oriented towards end users, applications managers and Dow Jones support personnel (s.a. Marketing, Installation). These training materials may be integrated with Online Help as “how to” tutorials or they may be developed as full-blown interactive training courses. Marketing Materials High-end documentation, media and training materials developed by DRC will be of use to Marketing.Filename: djdrcproposalshort-13318259019305-phpapp02-120315104035-phpapp02.doc Page 4 Printed: 2/20/00