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IS480 Team wiki: 2010T1 TouchPoint:TouckPoint Final Wiki

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Project Progress Summary

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The project is completed. We delivered a working prototype of the iPhone application to the sponsor as discussed during the initial meetings in July.

Project Highlights:

1. Forming of team and gathering requirements.

  • Set up appropriate communication channels (i.e. UnFuddle, Dropbox and Skype)
  • Set expectations and requirements with clients by developing paper prototypes and mockups
  • Develop project specifications
  • Design app UI


2. Project Proposal

  • Present Project Proposal Presentation


3. Unable to connect to hotel back-end system

  • Develop mockup of hotel back-end system


4. Improve appeal to app requirements

  • Brainstorm and research on possible functionalities
  • Added geo-module to project scope


5. Completed development of browsing modules

  • Browse rooms
  • Browse restaurants and bars
  • Browse promotions
  • Browse recreation facilities
  • Browse business facilities


6. Change of expectations: Project sponsor wanted to focus on front-end (what will the guests see and use) instead of back-end (what will the staff see and use)

  • Added "Browse attractions" module
  • Enhance room browsing with viewing of room interior in 360 perspective
  • Improve UI design and browsing of promotions
  • Enhance restaurants browsing with viewing of food menus
  • Dropped all administrative functionalities


7. Project Sponsor unavailable for 3 weeks

  • Continue to update project sponsor by emailing screenshots and development updates
  • Install application on his iPhone and updated versions through emails


8. Completed development of room booking and refinement of UI

  • Room booking
  • Mobile sign-in
  • Room browsing in 360 perspective
  • Refine UI design


9. Present mid-term evaluation


10. Completed development of other modules

  • Browsing of attractions
  • Geo-location module
  • Browsing of food menus
  • Refine UI


11. UAT Testing

  • Internal testing (Functional test, usability test)
  • UAT testing with project sponsor
  • User experience test


12. Present Final Presentation



Key Project Challenges:

1. Inexperience with the hospitality industry

Mitigation strategy(s):

  • Research and speak to people with relevant experience in the industry
  • Built open communication with project sponsor and learn from him
  • Hedren took up elective module on "World Travel and Tourism" to obtain knowledge


2. Lack of WOW factor for project Mitigation strategy(s):

  • Brainstorm and added functionalities to increase appeal


3. Unable to connect to hotel back-end system Mitigation strategy(s):

  • Develop a mockup of the hotel’s backend server and database


4. Discover bugs in iOS 4.0 during development Mitigation strategy(s):

  • Research through expert forums or websites to determine alternatives


5. Conduct test on user experience other than usability and functionality Mitigation strategy(s):

  • Prepare and arrange for the following tests:
    • Internal testing (Functional tests and usability tests)
    • UAT test with project sponsor at Pan Pacific Hotel
    • User experience test with 20 friends



Project Achievements:

UI designs for other hotels

1. Innovative and refined UI for Pan Pacific Hotel Despite the multiple versions of UI design created during development, we have managed to deliver a app that help to improve guest experience for Pan Pacific Hotel.


2. Complete the "How to get there" function We managed to overcome the technical complexities, such as iOS 4 SDK restrictions, to deliver this functionality.


3. Final delivery of project Even though our team member was unavailable for some time, with proper planning, the disruption to our workflow was minimal and we managed to complete the project on time.

Project Management

Project Schedule (Plan Vs Actual):

Compare the project plan during midterm with the actual work done at this point. Briefly describe a summary here. Everything went as plan, everything has changed and the team is working on a new project with new sponsors or the supervisor is missing. A good source for this section comes from the project weekly report.

Provide a comparison of the plan and actual schedule. Has the project scope expanded or reduced? You can use the table below or your own gantt charts.

Iterations Task Planned Actual Comments
Inception Project Specifications 8 Jun 2010 8 Jun 2010
UI Design 14 Jun 2010 14 Jun 2010
Elaboration Browse recreation facilities 29 Jul 2010 29 Jul 2010
Browse culinary 29 Jul 2010 30 Jul 2010
Browse business facilities 29 Jul 2010 27 Jul 2010
Construction Browse rooms 11 Aug 2010 23 Aug 2010
Room booking 21 Aug 2010 21 Aug 2010
Amenities booking 11 Aug 2010 - Dropped functionality. Uncertainty on project sponsor side. Advised to put functionality on hold
Browse promotions 15 Sep 2010 13 Sep 2010
Mobile sign-in 15 Sep 2010 21 Sep 2010
View profile 20 Sep 2010 25 Sep 2010
Push announcement (Admin) 10 Oct 2010 - Dropped functionality. Change of expectations by project sponsor.
Invalidate sign-ins (Admin) 12 Oct 2010 - Dropped functionality. Change of expectations by project sponsor.
Drop room bookings (Admin) 15 Oct 2010 - Dropped functionality. Change of expectations by project sponsor.
Drop amenities bookings (Admin) 15 Oct 2010 - Dropped functionality. Change of expectations by project sponsor.
Browse 360 view of rooms 10 Oct 2010 Added new functionality to scope.
Browse attractions 18 Oct 2010 Added new functionality to scope.
Geo-location module 5 Nov 2010 Added new functionality to scope.
Transition Internal test plan 1 Nov 2010 10 Nov 2010 Pushed back due to previous changes to scope
UAT test with sponsor 1 Nov 2010 10 Nov 2010 Pushed back due to previous changes to scope
User experience test 12 Nov 2010 Added new test to test overall user experience and acceptance

Technical Complexity:

  • Threading in iOS
  • Manual handling memory
  • Design the UI that is good enough to represent the hotel and meet sponsor's expectation
  • Find a way to work around bugs in iOS API.
  • Understand and efficiently make us of iOS's massive library.

Quality of product

Provide more details about the quality of your work. For example, you designed a flexible configurable system using XML.config files, uses Strategy Design Pattern to allow plugging in different strategy, implement a regular expression parser to map a flexible formula editor, etc.

Project Deliverables:

List the artifacts produced for this project. The entire deliverable can be submitted in a separate thumb drive, web repository or place in the IS480 team wiki.

Stage Specification Modules
Requirements Story cards [1]
Analysis Information tree Information Tree


Data generator process diagram Data generator process diagram
Screen Shots IS480 Team wiki: 2010T1 TouchPoint:Scrrenshots
Design Communication network diagram Communication network diagram
Data Model Diagram Data Model Diagram
Testing User experience testing User experience feedback form
Feedback results
Functional testing Fucntional Test
Minutes Internal Media:internal_minute.docx
Client Media: Client_Meeting_Minute_Sep.docx

Media:Client 4 Oct.docx

Media:Client_Meeting_25_Oct.docx

Supervisor Media:10SepSupervisorMeeting.docx

Quality:

As compared to existing hotel apps in the market, we have showcase quality through the innovative design of user interface and user interaction. Careful use of colours, scroll effects, image sizes, organisation of information and other useability features are taken into consideration with the overall user experience in focus.

Deployment:

As requested by the project sponsor and not being able to connect to the hotel back-end system, we are not able to deploy the solution. However, the solution is a working prototype which tap on a dummy server and database to operate.

Testing:

Feature testing Feature testings are carried out internally at the end of each iteration. When a bug is found, tester creates a ticket at UnFuddle. Once the ticket is resolved tester is informed by Unfuddle, so that she can check if the bug is considered as "fixed" or resubmit again as "unsolved" with comments on why is it so.


User experience testing

The main objective of this project is not just to complete all the features, but also to make sure the app is easy to use. We personally interviewed 21 friends, students and working adults. We let them play with the app and ask them to fill out a short questionnaire about their satisfaction in each area. (Refer to the questionnaire under the deliverable section.)

Reflection

Team Reflection:

Firstly, the team has acquired substantial amount of industry knowledge from research and sharing from our Project Sponsor. The team has utilised the knowledge and in designing the User Interface for a mobile app catering to the needs of Pan Pacific Hotel. In the process, the team has also learnt about the various techniques and types of user interactions that can be used to improve user experience in using the mobile app.

Secondly, the team, especially Ken and Khoa, has managed to learn new techniques in programming using the iOS 4.0 SDK and Objective-C. They are also able to acquire what they have been exposed during the WDC Apple Conference that they attended prior the start of the FYP.

Finally, the team has been exposed to executing project management to a real client. The team learnt how important to “Under Promise and Over Deliver” to manage expectations of the project sponsor and team members. The team has also learnt how to handle various risks and managed to realise how it affects the project schedule.

Hedren Sum:

Being a project manager of this project, I have learn how to handle expectations - Project Sponsor's expectations, Team expectations and academic expectations. I understand the importance of "under promise and over deliver". Moreover, despite of how good is the planning at the beginning, there will be some unexpected or unforeseen situations. This is where reaction is the most important than anything else.

Dalaphone Pholsena:

I have learnt to interpret client's requirements and expectations. Some requirements cannot be done due to lack of time or technical expertise.

Secondly, I’ve learnt that to deliver a good product, IT skill alone is not enough, we need to understand the industry well enough. As the lead tester in the team, when testing for a feature, as long as it accomplishes the task, it is considered passed. But it is not the same for our client, because in hospitality industry, branding is important. This app would represent the hotel and the look and feel of the app has to blend in with other elements of the hotel. Thus, design is as important as the features.

Luong Thanh Khanh:

What I have gotten most out of this project is the skill in Objective C. Even though I have prior experience in programming, Objective C is a new to me. Unlike other programming languages where we don't have to care about memory, this language requires us to manually manage memory and that is challenging for me. I also learnt to work within the contraint and find a way around things. After all, API cannot be solely relied on, even if it is from Apple Inc.


Nguyen Thanh Khoa:

Designing an application for a mobile phone is different from other design work I have done. The limitation of the screen makes information organisation very important. I have learnt to balance between displaying a lot of content the the appearance of the app. Being a touch screen device, designing on an iPhone is design both user interface and the phone keypad. i have learnt to design a user friendly and useful application and at the same time does not compromise on the look and feel of the app.

"This app has a great potential for both clients and hotel associates. Its design needs to be further refined, so is the organizations of information. Each section could be addressed to deliver a more pleasant interface and comfort in reading pleasure. Keep up the good work to finalize this exciting project."


Mr. Jean Philippe Lovotti , Rooms Division Manager, Pan Pacific Singapore