IBM and Mobile Computing Essay

  1. To integrate mobile computing into the everyday environment without making mobile technology blatantly obvious is difficult but necessary as the demand for ‘fashionable’ computing devices has increased.
  2. The requirements for maintaining mobility are upheld and functioning 24/7 in order to provide a constant mobile access from various mobile computers is a complicated and expensive task which requires sufficient manpower to monitor and amend the system at all times.
  3. The development of new software for mobile devices must be as fashionable as the casing within which they are found. How do modern HCI/GUI and design principles evolve and what are software designers doing to progress this particular field of software design.

Who are these problems for?

  1. This problem is for the design team to tackle as the technology for minimising size or memory and required hardware exists, thus it is designers who must make casings which are appealing to clients and highly marketable. This is to be done by being innovative and also staying abreast of new developments and penchants for new devices by the public.
  2. The technology for maintaining and monitoring systems is very robust and already in place therefore, this is more of a HR problem as they will need to find reliable and enthusiastic staff to fulfil the job requirements. This is difficult because system administration and ‘help desk’ positions often experience a high staff turnover simply because the monotony often drives the employee to specialise or transfer to another part of the technological process. However, as staff is customer facing (albeit over the phone 90% of the time) the HR team must seriously consider applicants on a personal level and be sure that a sur of interest is maintained through ads in order to find worthwhile staff.
  3. The software development team must tackle new security issues daily as well as develop new and unique software to enable IBM’s service to be differentiated from their competitors. Software is a multifaceted aspect of IBM because as a guarded secret it is what allows their systems to run in order to provide a service to clients. However, once released to the public the software which runs to control a device or service is scrutinised and often copied by other makers. The software team must also consider aspects of mobile computing such as usability, the GUI and HCI principles in order that the client is not alienated from the technology and finds ease of use to be a commonality amongst the services IBM provides. Lastly, programming new software is quite a mundane and time consuming process yet requires individuals with a great deal of talent therefore, emphasis must be placed on the team that is amassed to tackle the issue of software development.

Why are they a problem?

  1. Because the tastes and demands of the public are generally unpredictable and vary quite often. It is important to start a trend and make mobile computing devices a complimentary item to everyday personal ware and use.
  2. Maintaining a system without interference, interruption of problems is virtually impossible. However, minimising each of these issues is a must and a struggle that must be undertaken.
  3. Developing software can become monotonous as well as difficult. Also the software trends must mirror customer demands which requires a great deal of client input and many testing scenarios.

Who in the organisation has to be persuaded or agree to these problems being researched?

  1. Marketing, Sales, and Design managemen
  2. Systems administration team leader, HR practice and development team
  3. Software and development team management

Worksheet B:

  1. Using the problem you identified in Worksheet A, write up to three possible research questions
  2. What benefits can the mobile computing industry gain from the recruitment of fashion and branding consultants within their development teams?
  3. What are the recruiting trends of systems administration and why is there a tendency for a high turnover of staff within this particular aspect of mobile computing support.
  4. What are the latest GUI and HCI principles which have been adopted in the development of new mobile computing software and what are the current customer demands.

2) Is it desire or feasible to research more than one question? No

  1. The focus is software development for mobile computing devices and services and the HCI/ GUI principles that have developed since the early days of mobile computing development.
  2. The value is the understanding of what the user requirements are and how they have developed and changed over the last ten years. This provides a good insight into the trends of the market and the relationship between software design and customer use.
  3. The principles of HCI/GUI development of ten years ago will be established and then the new principles will be compared with them and analysed as such. The data will be collected through textbooks, internet and research centres.

3) It is very feasible to do the research.

4) No ethical issues exist.

5) Yes

In order to do this activity the most difficult aspect has been to choose the one question to focus on. The mobile computing industry is an exciting and multifaceted industry with many points to investigate. In order to determine which aspect of the industry I could best research I first examined the question and determined which would be most beneficial to myself and which one held the most interest for my own personal development in this industry. A great deal of information exists on this topic and the reason I have chosen to follow through with this particular question is because my earlier education involved analysis of HCI and systems design. I am well acquainted with the principles of ten years ago however; I have not kept abreast of the new developments. The software behind the mobile computing devices and services today is a marvel to behold and it will be interesting to understand what is considered important in making devices user-friendly, especially as many devices use very diverse systems.

Worksheet C:

1) Complete:

i. The latest development in HCI and GUI development principles and techniques. I will also need to reassess and briefly explain the principles of 10 years ago in order to have a control by which to examine and assess the new principles by.

ii. The boundaries of research are quite simple and straightforward. In general the principles taught on a modern University course of HCI and systems design will suffice along with modern technological discussion taking place at the moment.

iii. The first set of sources are the publications on this subject from tens years ago, second set our sources are the latest editions of textbooks, finally new and developing research on the subject is critical along with current academic and industrial discussions on the subject from journals and Internet sources.

2) It is feasible as textbooks and Internet are very easy to come by in the library.

3) Yes

The sources for this topic of research are quite easy to come buy and by use of the library it is going to be very straightforward to find up to date sources which deal with this topic. One of the main problems will be the time it will take to accumulate the modern textbooks and research the titles from ten years ago. Fortunately, I have in my possession a few sources on this subject from that time however, they are not complete and the supplementary information will be hard to accumulate. There is no room for primary research in this topic unless a survey is carried out which asks users to list what aspects they find most helpful about modern mobile computing software and what improvements they would like to see. This would be a very useful insight to the demands of the user however, it would be time consuming and a group f at least 200 users would be needed in order to carryout a thorough investigation into this topic. Worksheet D:

1) Complete the following:

i. I will go to the public libraries and academic libraries available to me. I will also use the Internet search engines (Google, Alta Vista…) to uncover up to date debate on the subject. Recent publications will be initially researched on the internet and hard copies will be sought from library and personal archives.

ii. Specifically articles relating to the new requirements of users of mobile computing and the principles coming into effect in order to satiate demand. User criticisms and input will be gathered in order to provide a new dimension to the research and allow for analysis of whether the new HCI principles are meeting customer demands or not.

iii. After the survey is carried out analysis of the data will be carried out using statistical analysis. Also new topics and principles will be analysed against old principles in order to gauge the difference and development.

2) How feasible is it for you to:

  • Collect the data? Very

  • Analyse it? Very once the survey is carried out and the textbooks are assembled then analysis will be very straightforward.

3) Yes

I carried out this activity after designing a questionnaire for my sample group. It consists of ten straightforward questions which are particularly geared towards users of mobile phones, laptops and PDAs. I will try to avoid asking non-users of these technologies as their input will be virtually worthless. Instead I have asked many questions regarding the user of the devices from a software point of view and what they find to be most beneficial. As there is a tendency to involve one or many ‘menus’ as a guide through the facets of the software, I have focused my survey on their usability and their integration into the larger software package and its functionality and usability. The only problem was narrowing down the questions. After an initial brainstorming session of potential questions which resulted in over 100 questions, cutting it down to ten and making sure each aspect of research was covered proved difficult and some of the questions had to be rewritten.

Worksheet E:

1) Complete the following:

i. A survey has been carried out on mobile technology users and the responses they have provided have been collated using a system of my own creation. The textbooks have been collected from the libraries and at the moment the only aspect lacking is the journals and Internet search.

ii. The data from my random sample group has been collected and the principles surrounding modern software design have been determined.

iii. I am now going to compare the modern principles with the old and use the comments made on the survey to highlight, support or argue against the direction new design/HCI principles are taking.

2) How feasible is it for you to:

  • Collect the data? What is left is very easy to collect

  • Analyse it? Still very straightforward

3) Yes

The responses from the survey have kept me very busy. By using open-ended questions, I ended up with a lot of input from the users interviewed which has been most helpful in assessing whether modern principles and techniques are really providing what the customer demands. The textbooks have made it really easy to extract the necessary information and I have set up two table of information which house the old principles and the new and I have made straightforward connections between them that I will now elaborate on and develop using commentary from the survey carried out and the statistics and input gleaned after the journals and Internet have been perused. At the moment the research at hand is straightforward and the information has been easy to find. The public were very helpful in answering the questionnaire and many took the time to really elaborate their answers and provide genuine and thoughtful input on the subject.

Worksheet F:

1) Complete

i. Yes

ii. Documents pertaining to recent discussions and assessments of the software development industry for mobile computing devices.

iii. Through reading them and highlighting key aspects which correspond with the textbook identification of HCI/ development protocol. They will be analysed and the source validated before any commentary is introduced into the current research project.

2) Very, because the Internet is a wealth of information regarding this topic and its development.

i. Collect the data? Via Internet

ii. Analyse it? By comparison with textbook deductions

3) Yes

The internet search for information has yet to be carried out however, it will not be difficult as search engines are a great help these days. However, as time is moving on I do not want to do a first class job of analysing the data I have already collected and rush through the rest of the information which is as crucial to a thorough analysis of this question. The up-to-date discussions taking place on the internet will provide me additional aspects of modern principles which are being incorporated into software design. At this point the foundation of primary and secondary information excluding the Internet research is ready and needs only minor revision. Using textbooks has been helpful as they are very straightforward in identifying and explaining modern principles and they have provided bibliographical references to additional text that has been easy to locate and include in the research process.

Source: ChinaStones -

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