CSSE Document Management System: Implementation and Usability Evaluation
Type of DegreeThesis
Computer Science and Software Engineering
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The design and implementation of an application like CSSE Document Management System (CSSEDMS) involves many considerations. Among all these considerations, usability is the key for success. “If you could build a system that resulted in world peace, but no on could use it … it would be useless. Usability matters.”  An application is useless if it is not usable to its users. Further more, if users don’t like your application, your project fails. The advanced algorithms and the most efficient calculation used in your application are just not as important as they seem to be. Usable, maintainable and flexible applications are what users are seeking. Computer Science and Software Engineering Document Management System (CSSEDMS) is a web application designed for all CSSE faculties and students. It acts as a central depository for all CSSE digital reports, theses and dissertations. Through CSSEDMS, CSSE faculties and students can upload their documents, search and browse documents in the repository. Certainly, the search and browse functionality is available to all Internet users. In general, CSSEDMS is a typical web application targeted to CSSE faculties and students. Guided by usability evaluation and modern software architecture ideas, this thesis work shows the practices to design and implement such a typical web application to meet user requirements and satisfaction. Web application usability is an evolving issue. As we learn more and more about how our users interact with web application, how our users retrieve information and use it, what our users anticipate within their realm of experiences, we can iteratively improve our design and implementation. This is the best practice to meet user requirements and satisfaction. Specifically, for web application usability evaluation, we need to measure users’ anticipation to interact with web applications and how users actually interact with web applications. It is this anticipation (logic and intuition of users) related to web experiences that decides the usability of a web application. This thesis details the process of usability evaluation and the techniques used to quantify users’ response and behavior. From an architectural point of view, CSSEDMS is a three-tier web application. As for most modern applications, the emphasis of the architectural design revolves around the business and data layers. For architectural considerations, there are not right or wrong answers, only the tradeoffs. Based on requirements of CSSE Document Management System, CSSEDMS design is a data-centric procedural design. All programming logics center around data manipulation: retrieving data from data store, displaying data to users and updating data back to data store. Compared with full object-oriented design, data -centric procedural design is a dirty and quick solution. Full object-oriented design demands much more investment. Data-centric procedural design is more suitable for CSSEDMS specifications and requirements.