Category Archives: Usability and the Office PC

SPA: How much money is it costing your company?

The last post I wrote was just a small note trying to explain what a SPA is and how is can effect the paperless system and also the office environment.

If I told you it could cost your company approximately £17.29 or should I tell you it is already costing your company £17.29 per month per computer.

Source of information company for the  employee average

www.census.gov

Year 2004 U.S States only (excluding establishments)

Employee (100 to 499) small companies                      86,538

Paid Employees                                                                        16,757,751

 16,757,751/86538 = 194

Average employees 194 say 20% have computers averaging it to 38.8 computers per company.

 Calculations from my Hypotheses Testing Frame Work

£17.29 per computer per month

17.29 * 39 = 674.31 *12 = 8091.72 * 86,538 approx £ 700,241,265

So from the above figures and the average calculation, it’s costing  approximately £ 700, 000, 00 a year in a less efficient system just because we have ignored the small notary paper items such as SPA.

I have just designed a template which will be available in the New Year which will be free to down load when my new website will be launched both will be available in the New Year

If you know that an every day routine or action within the work place is costing you money would you like to know about it.

Would you have a closer look at this information I think in general you would.

I think the main thing about this activity is that it’s been within our work environment for as long as we can remember so to have an answer over night would be quite difficult to predict, although this has been the first stage of what I believe may be one of the problems for the development of the paperless office.

There will be a few more posts before this site changes to a new site and by the way the new site will be called The Paperless Endeavour.

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Office Pc and the Paperless Interface

I have often wondered how the paperless system will become a more common factor and more usable within the work place. I have mention a few times now that it’s not a question in just designing a better software installation and simply down loading that onto your PC.

I do believe that the progression of the paperless system has passed that stage were we would just design a better software programme, that might have been the answer a few years ago but there is nothing wrong with trying to achieve a better software which will help and increase all areas concerned.

What you could say is that has the paperless system reached to a saturation point as a product or a service, I suppose that this would be a question that we could disagree with and I am sure that  some of you could have a serious discussion about.

I personally don’t think that we should stop the software development and realistically the software development that you transfer to a disk and you down load to your PC .

This will always be in the mind of developers not mentioning all the other factors which are connected to this subject.

But if we have reached a so called milestone to the development of paperless system should we be looking towards a different direction but not forgetting about what we have mentioned above. Could one of the areas that we need to be looking at and start to question that of the interface with the computer.

This is not a new subject we have been trying to master this area for some time now and there are plenty of experts about this subject.

It’s not a question of trying to re invent the wheel but just a case of looking at things a bit differently, we have all seen the explosion of computer aided devices for a more social media, but have we seen an explosion for the traditional office PC.

I think we all could agree that we have not notice any major developments to a degree that might change the way we use the office PC, but if we look at the advances towards the office PC , then there have been far and few between, could this be a stumbling block in the future development of the paperless system.

I will put my neck out on this one and state that I do believe that the future of the office PC will be a tablet and touch panel devices complete with a traditional keyboard and I will also state that these will have to be priced to beat the second hand traditional PC that we see in computer shops who buy and sell these items in bulk, I am not talking about the few we notice on E bay, but the serious dealers who make a living form this professional trade.

I mentioned in some of my past posts that we should be viewing and looking at the computer in a different way, we should segment and separate social media computers to the traditional office computers.

You may ask yourself what this has got to do with the paperless office and paperless systems well I personally think that it has a lot to do with how the paperless system will have to be developed in the future.


Paperless and the Mobile

Just recently I have spent some time reading various articles and comments stating that the mobile phone can assist and is also used as a paperless office.

I must admit this statement makes me “shudder with horror”

I know you might say that the development of the mobile phone has helped with the general progression of the paperless system and you would be correct to state this, but in the next sentence the mobile phone has assisted the development of all most general gadgetry products that we used on a day to day basis.

If we are stating that the mobile phone is been used as a paperless office in what contents do we mean, looking and reading the articles it’s seems to be in the areas of convenience with regards to booking tickets and also paying bills through paperless transactions, this I would agree, but this is nothing new and we have been using this technology for some time now.

So what else could we be using this for with regards to the paperless office we must remember these are stating that your mobile can be your office.

We have things like apps for scanning so your mobile can scan any documentation , we all so have apps which are claiming to be paperless management documentation systems that you can down load into your mobile, we also have scribed I paper, which lets you down load individual documents into your phone and stores them into a file we also have programmes like OCR  (Optical Character Recognition) or Read Iris Pro which you can down load into your mobile read and view documents as and when required.

I suppose all these things are heading into the right direction and are assisting the development of the paperless system, I just have concerns that the general public believe that you could run your office from your mobile phone.

If you had to put your hand on your hart, could you realistically say that this is possible and is a realistic solution to a paperless office.

What I do like about the mobile industry is that it has been a great benchmarking product for the future of the paperless system, and we have to be gratefully that the general public are so fickle that they must have the latest and fastest technology that paves the way for development and progressive solutions that can be adapted to adjoining technologies within the paperless system.

 I could state that the advertising study that I carried out some time ago with Bradford University was correct, in that the terminology of the wording “Paperless Office” should be used with caution.

My personal belief this that this does not help the progressive development of the paperless office, it may assist the progressive development of paperless solutions which can help us in general termsc and that is a good thing to have as I have so many times stated that we must perceive the customer users perception  and not the technologies perception.


Putting the “Office” into the Paperless Office

If we want to bring the paperless office to a new height and bring the paperless system to an office, do you think that the office as we all known and understand will have to change?

Has the office stopped the potential growth of the paperless system, what would we class as a office in real terms has the office ever changed, you would be right to say once or twice, we started with the traditional layout, a picture looking like George Orwell’s Film 1984, not in the sense of big brother but in the sense of totalitarian presence with a straight line of desks, all in a dark grey and black colours and a strict sense of uniformed procedures with no curves for flexibility.

Times changed and we started to understand that the work force should have a more relaxed atmosphere, not so straight and down the line, but a space between the desk and yourself and a so called workable free area.

This workable free area became more common and we started to look at the work space and not a desk, individual offices became obsolete and an open space had no barriers between the workers and the managers, we slowly developed into the open plan office and this really provided a greater open space were we could glide around and have this free feeling to encourage better working conditions.

Up to a point these have been the main areas, give or take a few untraditional methods, I write this simply because if we want the paperless office to develop we must consider all the connecting and surrounding aspects, put it another way, if you were buying a sport car you would expect it to have a powerful engine to class it as a sports car not a middle of the road family car engine, is this slowly happing to the paperless system  

If we want a paperless office should we look at the office in the Paperless office in a different way?

I did write a few other posts regarding this area called Attitude and a way of thinking which really does some this areas up.

Will we have to change our thinking and adapt the office to a paperless system or shall we adapt the hardware and the software to a accommodated the concept of the paperless office.

I think we should look at both areas and hopefully meet them in the middle;

I will write in the future how to change an office to accommodate a paperless system not stating which products are available but a comprehensive look at a potential design view to a medium size company.


Attitude and Way of thinking

There is an area that is of the most important and it would not matter if you had all the latest products and installed a new system this is the area of attitude and controlling the environment to achieve and accept a paperless office concept and system.

Looking back at what could be descried as a new way of achieving this attitude would be in the 1980’s when office layout became open plan. This changed the general attitude of the standard working office.

It’s this kind of thinking and attitude that will help the paperless office become a reality and a possible future way of thinking to make the paperless office a concept that will be acceptable

In the book (Harper and Sellen,2002);Myths of Paperless Office” a case study was observed and followed to the degree that a company changed all its office procedures and worked around the new installation of Paperless Office.

This action may seem to be rather extreme but in the real world could this be the way to handle and implement a Paperless Office System.

Not just taking the software packages or any new products and tell the staff how to use these tools but to encapsulate the whole experience and encourage this concept to all the aspects of the office environment.

One of the ideas that came out if this case study was the office implemented a total commitment to the concept and also to the green environmental issues.

It wanted to change there office procedure but felt that just saving spare or scrap paper was not enough so they introduced a new business plan that required a radical change and a new way thin thinking

The company’s decision was to change to a new way of thinking to a new level not just the standard savings which most companies have done with trying to be green with implementing small changes which could be introduced to any office or company.

The companies decision was totally there own and not all companies would have changed this radically obviously not all companies would have the ability to change the whole company and change the companies paperless office policies so each installation has to be viewed on there own merit.

The main items that have been established from this section are that of not all companies are at the same level or at the same point with there business plan to implement this change.

The decision has to be right for the company and every angle and possibility has to be taken into account when deciding to implement a Paperless Office System.


Basic Reading and Writing (Paperless)

As stated in the previous articles the web page design with regards to reading has indicated a deficiency but what about how the computer is used as a writing device for the concept of the Paperless Office.

Trying to make the Paperless Office a reality that it will play a part in the lives we live in regarding the office and work place could the problem be that we are trying to design an environment rather than a product or could this is the other way round that we are designing a product rather than an environment.

Is there some confusion to what has been designed so far believing that may be a software package will be adequate and to call it a paperless office?

Designing software which fits into our standard computers is this still only designing a non Ould (2007), management flow system which helps us to organise what is already in use but advertised and sold as an answer to the Paperless Office.

Instead of designing software could the answer be the hardware?

There can be a lot of descriptions meaning Hardware for the purpose of the article the author has indicated that the hardware will mean Computer screen, keyboard and the external hard drive. If we need to look at the hardware should we look at what we do in the office but has the design of the standard computer been left standing and become unsociable

We must start with the basics reading and writing how people interact with the keyboard and also the screen how we can improve the readability. Can we improve when we write on the screen can we feel the same feeling that we get form a piece of paper and a pen.

The paperless office will evolve itself believing that it is a simple as that. This may be a bold statement but changing the concept of what we call a home computer and also what we have in the work place which consist of a screen and keyboard.

The only main big difference is how you connect all the computers together and do you have enough space and is your main frame big enough. So what could the answers be to change the concept of how we read and write form a computer.

Screen

Could one of the answers be that making the screen designs a more interactive item at the moment its design is static changing the size of the screen. When reading from the screen everything in an oblong sense it’s a piece of paper on its side.

Making the screen detachable form the stand so you can actually move it around but at the same time still is able to read form the screen. Buttons could be placed on the side of the screen to keep you interactive with the screen, scroll up down etc, and move to the next page etc. The screen must be able to placed back in to the stand and be secure if you need to send a long time situated at your desk or table.

Design a reading software button that all written text weather in a web site or in a word document and PDF document spans to a white back ground and there are no distractions and if you want to read a report or an article it could be designed so it is as close as possible to reading a book.

Reading an article or a report it would be possible to physically take the screen from the stand and read it where ever you like. So you get the feeling of and the interaction of holding something when reading.

The software design of the pages and front etc will come in time people will be able to chose there own requirements to suite there own needs obviously we would assume that the older generation would want it as close as possible to the real thing but the new generation would not be so particular as there are already used to the age of the computer rather than books.

Keyboard

The keyboard is a writing implement and for some time now technology has used haptics Galvet, Charles, Stein (2004), of the screen to the relation of a technology pen this has been very up and down and when this was the first introduced, it was going to change the way we used the computer and unfortunately after a period of time the resolution of the type and writing was not good enough.

Was the technology pen misunderstood? Could this be the reason why, considering what we write and in what contents, social, work, fun, is the tech pen a real requirements.

What do we use a pen and paper form at the moment if you have to write a report would you start writing on a piece of paper or would you go straight to the word doc and start typing.

What would you want to write with a tech pen it would come in no more than four categories, impulsive, message, reminder, sub broken (note writing).

 Anything that is subject to continuous sentences and Para graphical would most be performed in a typed format. So there is a requirement for a tech pen but not to replace the more traditional pen.

The keyboard design is a major area that has to be addressed why has the keyboard design not changed over the years. The keyboard type sets still has this continuous number of buttons that are added to the keyboards most of them are not used and can be a complete waste of time.

What changes have happened to any electrical device that involves typing the only example that could be used is the mobile phone instead of using a standard type set the action involves a more pick process from a screen and button then traditional typing.

Placing the type set on the screen this can still be a difficult area to address the reason for this is that most reports and findings state that people do not like typing to the degree where they can not feel the button been pressed down.

Making the keyboard more electronic and displaying less buttons on the type set would help to minimise the structure of the keyboard .The principal of making a more hand held instrument than a flat based keyboard would take into account the problem of distant physical connection to the screen as discussed in the previous sections.

The main purpose for the these changes is not to change them for the sake of it but for the basic principals to be understood and the main reason is so the user can have a more interactive usage but at that the same time covering what the computer and all the aspects should be doing and that is making sure that the computer is designed for the bare essentials for reading and writing.


Alternative to the mouse

I wrote an article some time ago about the end of the mouse as we know it, but what else could replace it Apple think it’s the track pad although I do not totally agree that this will replace the mouse.

 I generally believe that will be a short interim measure before all computers will be touch screen but it’s a step in the right direction.

It obvious that the likes of Apple are heading in this direction with the I phone and I pad completely multi-touch-based so there no requirement for the mouse

If this is the overall trend of apple surely people will follow?