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The four stages that influences the design of system output.

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i) The destination of the output.

  • External outputs require careful consideration as they project the image of the company to customers.
  • Some external outputs may have to match fixed criteria by law, e.g. tax returns.
  • Hard copies may be required, e.g. invoices and chouse.
  • Internal documents may require a computerized response.

ii) The format of the output.

  • Derived items such as totals may be required.
  • Decimal points and suppression of leading zeros may be required, e.g. currency.

iii) The flow of output.

  • A report may be required at regular intervals, e.g. at the end of a month.
  • A report may be required on demand, possibly within a few seconds.
  • User requirements play a large part in determining this but the designer needs some Influence and foresight, e.g. if the user wants a very large report instantly.
  • Volume and expected response times are important and need to be balanced.

iv) The choice of output media.

This will be influenced by a number of factors including:-

  • Speed of required response.
  • The need for hard copy plus the quality and volume of copies.
  • User location – if external how are they able to receive the data.
  • Volumes – is it possible to transmit to online terminals if large volumes.
  • End destination – electronic transmission is best for other computer systems.
  • Available hardware and software may place limitations on the available output methods.
  • Cost.
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