The first thing I will do to design this pond cost calculator will be to decide upon which software is wise to use. After I know which programs I will be using I shall then sketch out a few design ideas on paper for the layout of the calculator which will be sketched to fit in with what program I have decided to use. I shall then choose one of the design ideas and reveal why I have chosen that design idea, then I will go into explaining how I want the calculator to look by stating the text sizes, types and possible colours I will be using and why.
When I know what the calculator is going to look like and how it will be laid out, I will then show how I am going to make this calculator on the program I have decided to use by expressing the features I will most likely be using on the program I have chosen, how they work and how I will exploit them. By doing that I will indicate how I will go about making the calculator and solving any eventual problems I might come across.
I then shall write a paragraph or two on a making plan for the calculator, explaining in what order I will be making the calculator. Finally, after I have written about how I am going to make the calculator and what order I will be making the calculator in, I will then design a testing plan that will show how I am going to test to see whether my calculator works or not. Software that I will use The most obvious program to use would be Microsoft Excel because it has every feature I need to make this calculator and a lot more.
Such is why I will be using Excel, because it is the most ideal program available to me. Choosing the Final Design I have sketched out 4 design ideas for this Pond Cost Calculator. Design idea 1 was the only one that had on it spaces where every cost was noted such as the cost of liner, cost of underliner, cost of underwater plant bunches, decorative plant packs, water lily and fountain. All of these costs were shown individually as well as the total cost of all of those costs added together.
I think that having every cost noted is a good idea because that way the calculator tells the user more things than just the total cost, this could be useful because if the customer requests how much he is paying for Underwater Plant Bunches, Jo can tell the customer straight away. Design 1 also has a light shade of grey over the places that are to be filled in by the user – the Pond width, length and depth. This is a good idea also because it makes it easier for the user the calculator to quickly find the places where they are meant to fill in the stats of the pond.
Having the Title “Pond Cost Calculator” on the calculator in my opinion makes the calculator look even more user-friendly, so that’s another good point about design idea 1. The way Design 1 is set out is probably the neatest out of the four as well having the values to be filled in by either the user or the calculator underneath the title to the value is a good clear way of showing where everything is. Design idea 2 doesn’t have a title on it and also doesn’t have all the costs for every item recorded on it either.
It does however show the number of plant bunches and plant packs that the customer will get which I think is the best thing about this design idea because if the customer enquires about how many plant bunches and plant packs he will get, Jo can straight away tell the person how many there would be instead of dividing the total cost of the plant bunches or plant packs by how much 1 of them would cost, so therefore design idea 1 for the calculator would be quite helpful in that respect.
The areas where the user of the calculator has to fill in are going down vertically and the areas where the calculator will fill in after the user has input the measurements are going across horizontally, this would make it easier to decipher where everything is for the user. Design idea 3 has the title “Pond Cost Calculator” on it, which helps it to be more user friendly. However there aren’t many different cells filled in so the title would take up about half of the calculator, which wouldn’t look good.
The cells where the user is meant to fill in are straight under the titles of the cells and the total cost is straight under the title of the total cost, which is straight under the pond length cell. It’s the most basic of the 4 calculators in layout and would do the job but wouldn’t tell Jo other details that the customer might ask for. So I definitely wont be using this Design idea. Design idea 4 has its title below where the value cells are and the title for the value cells are, which might confuse the user a bit.
The value cells and titles for the value cells are laid out in a horizontal fashion and that to me looks worse than when they are laid out in a vertical fashion. So I will not be using this Design idea either. I have decided to go for Design idea 1. This is because it has the most values available to Jo to use. Although Design idea 2 is simpler and easier to understand, design idea 1 can be a lot more helpful. Text For the calculator, I have considered all different text sizes and types and I have come up with the following decisions about what text it would be wise for me to use:
Value Titles: Size 10 Bold Values: Size 10 Main Title: Size 18 Bold The reason why I have decided on these text sizes, is because ’10’ is the default text size and it’s the default because its not too big and not too small therefore I will use it for every bit of text other than the Main Title. I have chosen the Main title to be 18 because I think that because it looks to me like it would be the correct size in correlation to how much other text will be on the calculator. The main title and the Value titles are in Bold because they need to be able to stand out more than the text and bold does just that.
All text will be done in the text style ‘Arial’, this is because Arial is formal enough but not too formal so much so that it may appear unfriendly to the person who is using it. Colours Because this is only a calculator, I will not need a colour scheme. However I did decide on the design idea to have a light shade of grey filled in on the cells that needed measurements entered in them by the potential user of the calculator. How I will make the calculator I am now going to express how I will go about making the calculator by showing off the features of Microsoft excel that I will most likely need to use.