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This analysis begins with the human-computer interface (HCI) for the two most used programs by Swagger Distribution employees. The first program we looked at, is Word. The focus for this program is word processing. Upon opening a new page in Word, the user will see a ribbon of function and section options across the top of the page. Home being the main section, this is where the user will find functions like save file, using the disk icon. Other functions such as font types and options like font style and size, bolding and underlining are found here as well. Also found under the home section users find paragraph design options. Simply by scrolling the mouse over each icon the user is told what each icon does for that function. By choosing a different section header, like Design, the user is given function options related to page layout and formatting. Again, simply scrolling over each icon within the section describes its use.
Secondly, we looked at the HCI for the Visio program. Visio is a great and easy to use flow chart program allowing users to format and complete charts to share information and data. Visio, like Word uses a ribbon across the page top that shows multiple sections of functions. Within this ribbon the user will find the save icon, text and font options. Along the side of the page the user will find a second ribbon running vertical. Within this ribbon the user will find all the shapes associated with flow charts. Scrolling over each shape will offer a description of shape meaning. This allows the user the ability to quickly choose the appropriate shapes for each portion of the chart being created.
Word and Visio have a similar HCI within the option ribbons. Similarities like using the same save icon which is shaped like a disk. A second similarity will be the file section, both programs have this and is where the user will go to load a new page or open an existing page to complete.
The importance of an HCI the user gets with Word or Visio can not be overstated. The ease at which new users can operate both programs is the most important part to the HCI of these platforms. Today, very few computer users actually read the manual accompanying the software, if one exists. Only very specialized and advanced programs require training and an extensive manual. Computer users expect to understand the main functionality of an average program within a few minutes of interacting with it. (Fitzpatrick) This quick understanding of how to use these programs can eliminate frustration and ensure productivity.
One enhancent to consider would be changing the text font and size default to the standard, Times New Roman size 12. This would save time on the user end by elinmating this step of formatting communications. If the default can not be change permanetly by programmers, then making it easier for the user to change would help. To set a personal font as the default, the user will highlight a word and right click. Doing so will open a pop-up where the user can choose font and size as well as set the default for a single document or permently.
Visio makes sharing data in the form of flow charts very simple. Upon opening new file like example one. The user will see all the program functuions. On the left side of the screen you simply left click and drag the desired shape onto the blank page as in exampe two.
After the user has selected shapes appropriate to their place in the flow, the user can add text to the chart. To do this simply place cursor over the shape and double left click. Now data can be added to the flow chart as seen here in example three. Once text is completed the user can left click anywhere to close the text.
Additional functions are also available and valuable.
The file function, under this the user finds the option for a new page, downloadable template etc. As well as multiple save options.
The undo function, in the shape of a reverse arrow, allows the user to quickly undo an action or mistake.
The text section allows the user to select the font and text size, as well as font color for any data entered in the chart.
Shapes, this section contains all the shapes the user will need in one location with easy access.
Connectors, allows the user to easily connect shapes, showing the flow direction of information within the chart.
Swagger distribution databases store the data of clothing manufacturing companies used by Swagger Dist. As well as clothing products available and retail stores service by Swagger Dist. There are three database tables used by Swagger Dist. The data is as follows.
Table One: Clothing Manufacturers.
Field One: Manufacture name, this field tells Swagger who manufactures a specific clothing lin.
Field Two: Street address, this field shows the mailing address to each manufacturer
Field three: City, this data is part of the mailing address.
Field Four: State, this data is also part the mailing address.
Field Five: Zip code, this data type is number, and the data in this field is again part of the mailing address.
Table Two: Clothing Products
Field One: Clothing Item, Tells Swagger Dist. What type of clothing I.E: Flip flops or Tee Shirts.
Field Two: Color, this data tells Swagger the color of a specific clothing item.
Field Three: Manufacturer Name, lets Swagger know who makes the clothing.
Field Four: Wholesale price, the data type for this s currency as it tells Swagger Dist. How much the clothing costs them.
Field Five: Retail price, this data tells Swagger Dist. How much the retail stores are charging for the clothing item.
Table Three: Retail Stores.
Field One: Retail store name, this tells Swagger Dist. The name of each retail store they service.
Field Two: Street Address, this gives Swagger Dist. The mailing address of the retail stores they service.
Field Three: City, also part of the mailing address.
Field Four: State, again this data is part of the mailing address,
Field five: Zip Code, has data type of number and is included with the mailing address.
Field Six: Clothing Item, tells Swagger Dist. The type of clothing being distributed to the retail store.
Within the Clothing products data table, the retail price data type of short text is incorrect for this data field. As short text the data represents a standard number and not a price or dollar amount. By changing the data type to currency, the data will be correctly represented within the table and across the query of all three data tables.
Running a query of Swagger Dist. Data tables shows the tables connected across the fields. Manufacturers names connects from clothing manufacturer to clothing product. Clothing product then connects to retail store by clothing item. These connections allow Swagger Dist. The ability to change data in one table and have that data change automatically in the others.
During the first query the data fields are empty. Only after selecting specific clothing items and changing the data type from number to currency can the query populate data. This happens now that the query has complete data points to compile and display. We see this in the following examples.
The key components of code used by Swagger Distribution are the following.
System.out.println. This component of code functions to display the output of a programmed expression to the output window.
Calendar code. This programs the date and time into programs such as the pop-up used by Swagger to greet employees as they login to their work stations.
The final component of code used by Swagger is the semi-colon, why is this important? The semi-colon is important in coding because it ends the statement of code or that line.
To make the changes to Swaggers greeting pop-up three tasks were performed. The first task was to add an additional line of text. To do this, line 19 was recoded with Swaggers chosen statement “Welcome to Swagger Distribution”.
Secondly Swagger asked that the second line say, “Today’s Date” instead of “Current Date”. To accomplish this the original text code for line 19 was moved to line 20 with a new System.out.println and coded to say, “Today’s Date” instead of “Current Date”. And the final step was ensuring the text was in correct order with the welcome statement first followed by the date. This was done by completing a compile command.
These changes to Swaggers code can be seen in the visual.
Currently Swagger utilizes a hardwired network configuration. Below you can see how this is configured. Beginning with the WAN (Wide Area Network), from there date flows through the demarcation router which connects the private company to the public services. Data continues to Swagger’s main router in the computer room, this router then directs the data to the pix firewall. After the firewall approves the incoming data it then will be sent to the ethernet switch which will branch the data in three directions, the main servers in the computer room, to the offices through the cross-patch panel to the workstation. Data flows to the warehouse through fiber optic connection to the remote ethernet switch and finally to the workstations.
An alternative to hardwire configuration would be to go wireless for the offices and warehouse. The ability to use hand held devices such as tablets or smart devices would be one benefit Swagger would gain by going wireless. Secondly, the ability to add, upgrade or change devices is much easier. A huge benefit of going wireless would be the ability for visiting vendors with smart devices and tablet to share data with Swagger without the need to be directly wired to the network. In the diagram below are points of wireless connection for Swagger to consider.
Ensuring Swagger distribution has an updated website is important for a couple of reasons. Updating Swaggers website ensures a responsive and mobile friendly design. This is important because according to Carl Taylor, “We’re spending two hours online on our smartphones every day; twice as long as laptops and PCs.” (Taylor,2016) This means customers and business associates are visiting swagger distribution while on the go, not sitting a workstation. Updating will also improve Swagger’s communication with visitors. Taylor says this about site updating and communication. “A site redesign can also give you the opportunity to re-address how you communicate with all your visitors and to write copy that is simple, on target and more effective – remember, in the modern “go faster and faster” world you only have 2 -4 seconds to engage new visitors.” (Taylor,2016) Understanding this will greatly improve Swagger Distribution’s ability to secure that online purchase instead of that purchase going to a competitor.
When redesigning or updating Swagger’s website there are some core functionalities to address. Below are the functionalities Swagger should focus on when updating. Functionalities provided by, snhu-media.snhu.edu/files/course_repository/undergraduate/it/it200/15_core_web_functionalities.pdf.
1. Domain Name – Making a strong domain names begins by including the main topic of the business which should be easily remembered by those visiting the site.
2. Format – The site should be well thought out, organized and be easy for visitors to read. Short to the point statements and tags for further information.
3. Simple Navigation – Visitors to the site should be able to find the information desired with minimal clicking of the mouse. Complicated navigation could lead to visitors choosing a different site to use.
4. Search Functionality – Large and growing websites should employ a search function that accurately searches the site databases quickly. The search function could also benefit from a filter option, thus allowing visitors to narrow a search based on certain criteria.
5. Readability – Foreground text and content color should not conflict with background colors. This cause eye strain and user irritability, leading to a user choosing a different site.
6. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – CSS should be considered for the ability to make global (across all pages of a site) changes when editing, updating or creating site content, simply by making the change on one of the cascading sheets. This change will then filter through all cascading sheets within the site.
7. Browser Continuity – The site should work across all browsers. Some visitors may be using Firefox for example while others use Chrome. Some visitors may also be using older browser version. It is important that the website function correctly through all browsers.
8. Speed of load time – multiple external factors can affect the speed the website loads. Factors such as image size or orientation, communication between the site and server or a 3rd party connection. Whatever the case, ensuring the site loads quickly will help keep visitors from fleeing to other sites.
9. Mobility and Responsive Design – Does away with the need and burden of having a mobile site and full version site. A responsive design allows the site to adapt to the user’s device no matter the screen size. Another benefit of responsive design allows the programmer the ability to make changes once and the site adapts the changes automatically across both mobile and full version.
10. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This can help get the website listed first with a search engine’s results. This requires the developer to create multiple tags for different information that can be found by the search engine. Using these meta data flags the search engine can direct the user to a website or page within the site.
11. Social Media Integration – Fitting with the needs for the company, integrating social media will allow updates to the websites as the social media is updated. Links to the company’s social media can also be embedded into the site.
14. Security (Secure Socket Layer) – Whenever transactions or purchases are done via the website a Security Socket Layer must be in place. This security measure will encrypt sensitive data ensuring privacy and security during information transfer or data entry.
These functionalities are in use across many websites. Websites like Surfline.com. Two of these functionalities used by Surfline.com are Search functionality and Social Media Integration. This can be seen in the following illustrations. Within this first illustration the main search options are highlighted within the yellow block. Flanked by search filters highlighted with red circles.
In the second illustration Surfline.com integrates the social media platforms used by them with each platform’s logo symbol. This is highlighted in the yellow circle. This integration shows the visitor which social media platforms the company can be followed on and communicated with.
The importance of information security cannot be understated. Security is important because some personal information such as PHI (Private Health Information) have mandated regulations concerning privacy. Other information like CUI (Controlled Unclassified Information) Also have mandated regulations. Ensuring compliance with these regulations ensures secure data. The Consequences of the failure to protect the pillars of information security could lead to the loss of business, regulatory fines, and loss of reputation. (Morris,2017) As Morris says failure to secure the data and having a breach in security can have long lasting and damaging effects. For the individual whose information was stolen, loss of income and loss of credit value are just a couple of those effects. The company suffering the breach weather due to negligence or insufficient security protocols, the loss of reputation is bad, but the loss of revenue could be catastrophic to the business.
Security suggestions Swagger Distribution could benefit from are as follows. The first suggestion would be to have all Swagger employees use assigned PIV (Personal Identity Verification) when logging into workstations or company device. PIV cards contain your digital credentials used to encrypt emails, digitally sign documents, and verify physical access privileges. (HHS.gov)
Secondly Swagger would benefit from the introduction of strong password protocols. Again we look to the The Department of Health and Human Services Information Systems Security Awareness Training to see what makes a strong password. A strong password includes a random combination of 8 or more numbers, symbols, capital and lower-case letters. Using a variety of character types increases the time it takes to crack the password. (HHS.gov)
Swagger would also benefit from establishing SSL (Secure Socket Layer) within their network and website. SSL provides a mechanism for encrypting and authenticating data sent between processes running on a client and server. (Rouse,2016)
Following these suggestions should help prevent Swagger from experiencing breaches and theft of PI. Failures or system breaches can lead to massive amounts of data and information being stolen and sold on black-markets. Recently, Marriot fell victim to an information breach the effected 500 million customers. According to the Washington Post. The breach of the reservation system for Marriott’s Starwood subsidiaries was one of the largest in history, after two record-setting Yahoo hacks, and was particularly troubling for the nature of the data that apparently was stolen, security experts said. That includes familiar information — such as names, addresses, credit card numbers and phone numbers — and also rarer prizes for hackers, such as passport numbers, travel locations and arrival and departure dates. (Telford, Timberg 2018) The implications of such a large breach are unknown but one theory of speculation mentioned in the Washington post is that Marriot may have been the target of state hackers looking to spy on the travel locations of foreign diplomats and other government officials. This was clearly a large breach of customers information. Marriot will no doubt feel a hit from this but being such a large company bouncing back should not be a problem for them. The customers that lost PI (Personal Information) will probably fare worse and for a longer time frame.
All sections discussed in this analysis interrelate and depend on the other to function properly, giving the end user an experience that is productive and enjoyable. These IT sections interrelate to each other in the following ways.
HCI- HCI (Human Computer Interface) has a relationship with all the IT sections of this analysis. This relationship governs how the human or end users interacts with Databases, Programming, Networking, Web Technologies and Security. The HCI ensures the readability and usability of these tools is easy and without detailed instruction.
Database- The relationship Databases share across the IT discussion begins with HCI and the ease at which the end user can access the data needed. This relationship should also allow the ease of data input and correction. Programming within Data base and the HCI should ensure this outcome. Databases relation with networks allows the data to be sharable across different workstations so employees can search, add or change data without the need to leave the users assigned workstation. Database’s relationship with Web-technologies creates a path for visitors to the online world the ability to access the information the visitor requires. The relationship Databases have with security are that of protection. Databases can and do hold sensitive information. Information like PHI (Private Health Information) or CUI (Controlled Unclassified Information). A good relation between databases and Security should insure this information is protected from unauthorized viewers.
Programming- Programming is the backbone for all the IT sections within this analysis. Programming dictates how the HCI for a database will look. How that database compiles and stores the data input. Programming also dictates how Web-technologies like websites will function and what content will be displayed. Programming’s relation with Networks also accompanies its relationship with Security. Programming a network to function needs to make sure all components connected can communicate with other. This means the router is talking to the WAN (Wide Area Network) and that the server is talking to the router and this communication carries on to the workstation. Programming security protocols like firewalls and SPL (Secure Pocket Layers). Programming embeds these within the Network.
Web-Technologies- Web-Technologies relationship starts with programming. How a website will function, what content will be available on the website all depends on the programming. Web-Technologies depends on this programming for the HCI of the end user’s experience while browsing. Databases store the information a website makes available to visitors of a website or online program. Information like product pricing and availability, shipping cost etc. Web-Technologies depends greatly on Networks and Networking. This relationship puts a websites information out into the world and available to the masses. If there is no network there is no Web-Technologies. Security also plays a large role for Web-Technologies. This relationship protects a websites data as well as the PI (Personal Information) visitors use while logging onto a bank’s website or the user’s favorite shopping site.
Security- Security’s relationship encompasses all IT sections. Security insures HCI is not changed by unauthorized programmers. Security insures data within databases is not viewed by those without permission or stolen by preventing data breaches. It provides protection to programming code, allowing only those with permission to make changes. Security also protects Web-Technologies from data theft and corruption. Security does this through a relationship with Networks used for and by Web-Technologies. Security comes in the form of firewalls and SPL.
To conclude this IT Analysis for Swagger Distribution, here is a recap of points of interest for Swagger to consider and the benefits Swagger could see from implementing the procedure’s and protocols. Regarding Swaggers future websites and Web-Technologies, Swagger should first consider the overall HCI for the end user’s experience. HCI is an important consideration for any business that uses computers in their everyday operation. A Well designed usable systems ensure that staff are not frustrated during their work and as a result are more content and productive. (Fitzpatrick) The same statement can be said for customers or visitors to Swagger’s websites and online resources. Secondly, Swagger should make regular updates to their Web-Technology. Every year web standards change radically and techniques to build websites become more advanced in order to comply with the latest standards. If your site was developed several years ago, it probably has a lot of unnecessary HTML code and may be slowing down your website loads speeds – which may, in turn, impact your ranking in the Google search results. (Taylor,2016) Lastly for Swagger’s Web-technologies, Swagger should integrate any Social media platforms used by them. Allowing users to stay current on any updates concerning Swagger Distribution.
Security is another area of interest for Swagger. Swagger could benefit from SSL (Secure Socket Layer) when designing Swagger’s Web-Technology. According to Jay Jones, SSL is the backbone of our secure Internet and it protects your sensitive information as it travels. It keeps the haters and criminals at bay and provides many direct benefits to you and especially your customers. (Jones,2016)
Swagger distribution would also benefit from the introduction of passwords and PIV cards. For the reasons discussed above in the Security section. Passwords are a means by which a user proves that they are authorized to use a computing device. A single device may have multiple users, each with their own password. (Bauman) Used in conjunction with passwords PIV cards are another way of securing multiple forms of data and data transfers, as stated above within the security section.
A final thought for Swagger distribution would be the use of annual IA (Information Assurance) audits for two reasons. The first being, Information technology professionals must assure their information system’s compliance with privacy and security laws, regulations, directives, and the secondary policies, procedures, and guidelines. (CyberCore,2009) Not only will annual IA audits help ensuring compliance, the audit will also help to keep Swagger up to date with technology advancements, Beth Gehlsen states the following about technology advancement, Technology moves fast, and it is difficult to know what innovations will fit best with the needs of your institution. In many cases, internal personnel have a wealth of knowledge about existing platforms; however, they are not regularly exposed to potential solutions available with new technology. Working with a trusted advisor can help ensure that you have the right technology and information security systems in place to meet or exceed compliance guidelines and increase overall efficiency. (Gehlsen,2014)
- Dr. Dónal Fitzpatrick;
- Carl Taylor, March 2016. Updated Dec 2018
- Author unknown. 2016
- Sarah Morris October 2017
- Taylor Telford and Craig Timberg, November 2018
Jay Jones February 2016
- Anna Bauman
- Beth Gehlsen July 20014
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