Sheffield Hallam University  Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and SciencesA Development of Electronic Menu (E-menu)...
AcknowledgementsThis research would not have been completed without the support of my supervisor,restaurant owner, manager...
AbstractThe restaurant industry is an area which has remained behind the technical advances untilrecently, when the electr...
Table of ContentsAcknowledgements ...........................................................................................
4.2.2 System design of the e-menu system ....................................................... 24              4.2.3 Cro...
List of FiguresFigure 1 - E-menu on iPad tablet .............................................................................
List of TablesTable 2.5 - Comparison of mobile development platforms on iOS and Android .................. 8Table 3 - Summ...
List of AbbreviationsASP        Active Server PagesE-Menu     Electronic MenuER         Entity RelationshipGUI        Grap...
1.   IntroductionDevelopment of technology enables people to become more comfortable in most areasof our lives. The restau...
1.1     Aims of the studyThe aim of this research was to study that how to develop e-menu application for use incasual res...
1.2   Limitations of researchThis dissertation was a product-based project involving the application of softwareengineerin...
2.    Literature ReviewThis literature review explores potential information to identify current knowledge andkey issues r...
2.2   Restaurant service processTo investigate requirements of a restaurant system, logistics and information flows areof ...
2.3     Software usability and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)In a software engineering perspective, the usability has be...
2.4   Software development methodologies and prototyping techniqueThere are several methodologies for software development...
2.5       Mobile application development on iOS or Android devicesOrdering food and drinks at a dining table usingan e-men...
devices is more difficult than that on theiOS platform in terms of user interface designbecause Android devices support a ...
2.6   Conclusion of the literature reviewIn summary, the literature review evaluates a range of sources in identifying cur...
3.        Justifications of the ApproachesThe objectives of this section are to describe selected research methodologies, ...
3.1   Research process and frameworkThere were four main research stages of this case study, which were design, conducting...
After the first prototype was developed and evaluated by users, feedback data wascollected by direct observation again in ...
such as what or how. It was vastly better than the quantitative approach in terms ofproviding holistic and in-depth explan...
prototype until the users are satisfied. This continuous feedback loop enables an RADprototype to correspond exactly with ...
4.     Findings and DiscussionThis case study research selected a convenience sampling at a Thai casual diningrestaurant i...
4.1   Users’ perceptions of the e-menu prototypeAs can be seen in Figure 4.1, after the interview questions were prepared ...
4.1.1   ConvenienceThe most restaurant staff mentioned,correspondingly to Emenunyy (2012) in theliterature review, that an...
4.1.2   Improving customer serviceAccording to key knowledge in the literature review, Jenie (2011) mentions that e-menude...
4.1.3   Preventing human errorAs the e-menu prototype was developed based on the basic process flow of a restaurantsystem ...
4.1.4   E-menu issuesAlthough the e-menu system can bring several benefits, there are some significantissues suggested by ...
Figure 4.1.4 -Users’ perceptionson e-menu issues                      22
4.2     Recommendations of e-menu application developmentThe following paragraphs provide important recommendations in con...
Next, the second or final prototype was developed by ASP.Net and Xcode. ASP.Netwas used to develop Web services and the ba...
4.2.3    Cross-platform communication between .Net and iOS platforms        Figure 4.2.3 -Cross-platform communication bet...
4.2.4   Model-View-Controller (MVC) design for e-menu system        Figure 4.2.4 -Model-View-Controller (MVC) design for e...
5.       Critical Reflection and EvaluationThis critical reflection and evaluation in this section critiques the inclusion...
Firstly, as can be seen in Table 5.1, the current solutions of a restaurant e-menu systemhelped the researcher and restaur...
5.2   Justification of the approachesAlthough the key knowledge of several approaches had learned from writing theliteratu...
Table 5.2 - Mapping approaches, their potentials, limitations and learning pointsInitially, a case study approach was used...
Thirdly, direct observation was an effective way to analyse restaurant businessprocedure.The researcher could work friendl...
5.3     Overall reflective commentary with regards to research outcomesThe overall reflective commentary is a scholarly pi...
diagrams helped the researcher more easily confirm requirements than using only verbaldiscussion.To sum up, the system ana...
Furthermore, the final prototype was separated into three main components: the iPad e-menu application developed for resta...
iPad e-menu. Lastly, additional significant features, which should be developed whenproducing the real e-menu software, ar...
6.    Conclusion and Limitations6.1   ConclusionsThis dissertation employed a case study approach based on qualitative emp...
Finally, in terms of recommendations with regards to e-menu development, theprototype was totally developed based on the k...
implementing an e-menu system, such as the high cost of the system, the older people’sinability to use system, and technic...
7.   ReferencesADIKARI, Sisira (2009). Little design up-front: A design science approach tointegrating usability in Agile ...
CROWTHER, Paul and HILL, Richard (2012). Dissertation by portfolio-an alternativeto the traditional thesis. Student engage...
HOFFER, Jeffrey A., GEORGE, Joey F. and VALACICH, Joseph (2008). Modernsystems analysis and design. 5th ed., USA, Pearson ...
MAJID, Rogayah Abd, et al. (2011). Users’ frustration and HCI in the softwaredevelopment life cycle. [online]. Internation...
STUDENTWEBSTAFF (2009). Use of E-Menus in the Restaurant Industry. [online].Last accessed 3 September 2012 at:http://www.s...
8.    Appendices8.1   Project PlanTo deliver a quality of dissertation by portfolio artefacts, a final e-menu prototype an...
Figure 8.1.2- Gantt chart of project milestones                      45
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad
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Restaurant e-menu on iPad, Rapid Application Development (RAD), Model-View-Controller (MVC), ASP.Net, Xcode, Web services, iPad application and mobile application development.

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01 dissertation_Restaurant e-menu on iPad

  1. 1. Sheffield Hallam University Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and SciencesA Development of Electronic Menu (E-menu) Application for Restaurant on iPad By Traitet Thepbandansuk MSc Enterprise Systems Professional 10 September 2012 Supervised by: Dr Frances SlackA dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements ofthe Sheffield Hallam University for the degree of Master of Science (Enterprise Systems Professional)
  2. 2. AcknowledgementsThis research would not have been completed without the support of my supervisor,restaurant owner, manager and staff at the Thai restaurant, Andy Paul, and my friends andfamily. Firstly, Dr Frances Slack, my supervisor, was the most important person, whoprovided me with valuable guidance and great support. Secondly, without support from therestaurant owner, manager and staff, my case study dissertation would have beenimpossible. Although they had to spend a lot of time with me, they indicated themselves bygiving me so much useful information for my dissertation, without exception. Furthermore,I would have to thank Andy Paul, who has helped me to enhance my English skills at alltimes. Finally, I would like to express my deep appreciation to my friends and family. Theyhave always support me strongly both in my academic studies and also with my personalproblems during my study. i
  3. 3. AbstractThe restaurant industry is an area which has remained behind the technical advances untilrecently, when the electronic (e-menu) started being used to improve catering services andto increase revenue. To answer the research question ‘how can a prototype of an e-menuapplication be developed for the casual dining restaurant industry to meet businessrequirements’, this dissertation employed a case study approach at a Thai restaurant in theUK. The research had conducted based on qualitative empirical research to gather businessrequirements by direct observation, to develop a prototype using Rapid ApplicationDevelopment (RAD) methodology, to collect data by group interviews, and finally toanalyse data by content analysis. The purposes of this study were to identify the key issuesrelating to development of an e-menu application, to investigate system requirements anddevelop an e-menu prototype, to evaluate users’ perceptions on e-menu, and to makerecommendations regarding e-menu development.As this dissertation is presented by portfolio, it has not only a written paper to describe theresearch, but various digital artefacts are also provided to help the reader understand morefully how an e-menu application could be developed. This dissertation portfolio includessystem analysis and design documents, source codes of iPad e-menu application, Webservices and web application inASP.Net, and presentations of e-menu features onPowerPoint and in video formats. All digital artefacts can be navigated from a portfolionavigator file included in the portfolio CD attached in this document.Finally, this research had examined four potential outcomes relating to the researchquestion and objectives. Firstly, List of business requirements, UML use case and classdiagrams, and ER (Entity relationship) and workflow diagrams were produced to analyseand design the e-menu system. Secondly, the prototype of e-menu application, includingsource codes, database and prototype presentations, were developed to use as tools forcollection data of the last two potential outcomes, which were users’ perceptions andrecommendations of the e-menu development.Key words:Restaurant e-menu on iPad, Rapid Application Development (RAD), Model-View-Controller (MVC), ASP.Net, Xcode, Web services, iPad application and mobileapplication development. ii
  4. 4. Table of ContentsAcknowledgements ................................................................................................................. iAbstract .................................................................................................................................. iiTable of Contents .................................................................................................................. iiiList of Figures ........................................................................................................................ vList of Tables......................................................................................................................... viList of Abbreviations............................................................................................................ vii1. Introduction .................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Aims of the study ................................................................................................. 2 1.1.1 Research question ...................................................................................... 2 1.1.2 Research objectives ................................................................................... 2 1.2 Limitations of research ........................................................................................ 32. Literature Review ........................................................................................................... 4 2.1 Electronic menu (e-menu) for restaurants ........................................................... 4 2.2 Restaurant service process ................................................................................... 5 2.3 Software usability and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) .............................. 6 2.4 Software development methodologies and prototyping technique ...................... 7 2.5 Mobile application development on iOS or Android devices.............................. 8 2.6 Conclusion of the literature review .................................................................... 103. Justifications of the Approaches ................................................................................... 11 3.1 Research process and framework ...................................................................... 12 3.2 Case study methodology .................................................................................... 13 3.3 Software development methodology by RAD with prototyping ....................... 144. Findings and Discussion ............................................................................................... 16 4.1 Users’ perceptions of the e-menu prototype ...................................................... 17 4.1.1 Convenience ............................................................................................ 18 4.1.2 Improving customer service .................................................................... 19 4.1.3 Preventing human error ........................................................................... 20 4.1.4 E-menu issues .......................................................................................... 21 4.2 Recommendations of e-menu application development .................................... 23 4.2.1 Software development processes for e-menu application ....................... 23 iii
  5. 5. 4.2.2 System design of the e-menu system ....................................................... 24 4.2.3 Cross-platform communication between .Net and iOS platforms ........... 25 4.2.4 Model-View-Controller (MVC) design for e-menu system .................... 265. Critical Reflection and Evaluation ............................................................................... 27 5.1 Knowledge of the domain .................................................................................. 27 5.2 Justification of the approaches ........................................................................... 29 5.3 Overall reflective commentary with regards to research outcomes ................... 32 5.3.1 System analysis and design documents ................................................... 32 5.3.2 Prototype of e-menu application.............................................................. 33 5.3.3 Users’ perceptions on the prototype of e-menu application .................... 34 5.3.4 Recommendations of e-menu application development .......................... 356. Conclusion and Limitations .......................................................................................... 36 6.1 Conclusions........................................................................................................ 36 6.2 Critical evaluation of learning experience ......................................................... 37 6.3 Limitations and recommendations for further research ..................................... 38 6.4 Research contribution ........................................................................................ 387. References .................................................................................................................... 398. Appendices ................................................................................................................... 44 8.1 Project Plan ........................................................................................................ 44 8.2 Summary of activities at the case study restaurant ............................................ 46 8.3 Portfolio navigator ............................................................................................. 47 8.4 Table of content of individual pieces of evidence ............................................. 49 8.5 Overview of evidence collected for the dissertation portfolio ........................... 51 8.6 List of interview questions ................................................................................. 52 8.7 A copy of the letter of agreement with the restaurant........................................ 53 8.8 A copy of research ethics checklist.................................................................... 54 8.9 Research Proposal .............................................................................................. 56 iv
  6. 6. List of FiguresFigure 1 - E-menu on iPad tablet ........................................................................................... 1Figure 2.1 - Restaurant e-menu solutions .............................................................................. 4Figure 2.2 - Basic process flow diagram of restaurant system .............................................. 5Figure 2.5 - Cross-platform communication using Web services .......................................... 9Figure 3.1 - Research process and framework ..................................................................... 12Figure 3.2 - Rapid Application Development (RAD) and prototyping ............................... 15Figure 4 - Software development process and potential outcomes ...................................... 16Figure 4.1 - Data collection process and users’ perceptions ................................................ 17Figure 4.1.1 - Users’ perceptions on convenience ............................................................... 18Figure 4.1.2 - Users’ perceptions on improving customer service ...................................... 19Figure 4.1.3 - Users’ perceptions on preventing human error ............................................. 20Figure 4.1.4 - Users’ perceptions on e-menu issues............................................................. 22Figure 4.2.1 - E-menu development process and technical system design .......................... 23Figure 4.2.2 - System design of e-menu system .................................................................. 24Figure 4.2.3 - Cross-platform communication between .Net and iOS platforms ................ 25Figure 4.2.4 - Model-View-Controller (MVC) design for e-menu system .......................... 26Figure 5.2 - Example of an implicit requirement ................................................................. 30Figure 5.3.2 - The first and final versions of the e-menu prototype .................................... 33Figure 8.1.1 - The initial and last updated action plan for dissertation ................................ 44Figure 8.1.2 - Gantt chart of project milestones................................................................... 45Figure 8.3.1 - Evidence collected for the dissertation portfolio ........................................... 47Figure 8.3.2 - The artefact outcomes for the dissertation portfolio ..................................... 48Figure 8.7 - A copy of the letter of agreement with the restaurant ...................................... 53Figure 8.8 - A copy of research ethics checklist .................................................................. 54 v
  7. 7. List of TablesTable 2.5 - Comparison of mobile development platforms on iOS and Android .................. 8Table 3 - Summary of research objectives, methods and outcomes .................................... 11Table 3.2 - Comparison among observation, interview and questionnaire .......................... 14Table 4 - Interview participant information ......................................................................... 16Table 5.1 - Mapping key knowledge, objectives and learning points .................................. 27Table 5.2 - Mapping approaches, their potentials, limitations and learning points ............. 30Table 8.2 - Summary of activities at the case study restaurant ............................................ 46Table 8.4 - Table of content of individual pieces of evidence ............................................. 49Table 8.5 - Overview of evidence collected for the dissertation portfolio........................... 51 vi
  8. 8. List of AbbreviationsASP Active Server PagesE-Menu Electronic MenuER Entity RelationshipGUI Graphical User InterfaceHCI Human–Computer InteractionMS MicrosoftMVC Model-View-ControllerOS Operating SystemPDF Portable Document FormatPoS Point of SaleRAD Rapid Application DevelopmentSQL Structured Query LanguageSOAP Simple Object Access ProtocolUK United KingdomUML Unified Modelling LanguageXML Extensible Markup Language vii
  9. 9. 1. IntroductionDevelopment of technology enables people to become more comfortable in most areasof our lives. The restaurant industry is an area, which has remained behind the technicaladvances until recently, when the electronic menu (e-menu) started being used toimprove catering services and increase revenue. Nowadays, the e-menu is becomingpopular and changing the concept of food ordering by paper-based menus. As can beseen in Figure 1, restaurant customers are able to view the items listed on the menu aswell as being able to order directly from tablets or touch-screen monitors located ontables, which offer customers a full range of ordering choices (Azilen 2011; Concepticno date).This research had conducted an inductive approach by case study methodology at aThai restaurant in England in order to develop a software prototype and evaluate users’perceptions of e-menu. The qualitative approaches were employed to collect data, suchas passive observation to gather system requirements, and group interview to evaluateusers’ perceptions. Figure 1-E-menu on iPad tablet 1
  10. 10. 1.1 Aims of the studyThe aim of this research was to study that how to develop e-menu application for use incasual restaurant industryand to meet business requirements. The research question,objectivesand limitations of research are summarised below.1.1.1 Research questionHow can a prototype of an electronic menu (e-menu) application be developed for thecasual dining restaurant industry to meet business requirements?1.1.2 Research objectives − To identify the key issues relating to the development of an e-menu application for the casual restaurant industry. − To investigate the system requirements as well as analyse, design and develop an e-menu prototype to meet business needs. − To evaluate users’ perceptions on the final prototype of the e-menu application from stakeholders, namely restaurant manager, waiting staff and chefs. − To make recommendations regarding to the development of e-menu application.The first objective began with the critical evaluation the range of literature to find outthe potential issues relating to the development of the e-menu application, such as thecurrent use of paper-based menus and e-menus at restaurants, and the softwaredevelopment methodology.The second objective was to gather system requirements in order to design and developthe e-menu prototype, and produce software development documents. In addition, todelivering software to meet business needs, Hanafiah (2007) suggests that the softwaredevelopment approach should be compatible with customer requirements, project teamand time of implementation. The justification of software development methodology isexplained in the section of justification of the approaches.The third and final objectives were focused on data collection and analysis. Groupinterviews were be used for data collection to analyse users’ perceptions, which wereexpected to answer the research question in terms of developing an e-menu applicationto meet business requirements, whereas the software development processes were bereflected to make recommendations regarding the development of the e-menuapplication to meet business needs. 2
  11. 11. 1.2 Limitations of researchThis dissertation was a product-based project involving the application of softwareengineering techniques to analyse, design, and develop of a piece of software(University of Oxford no date). The software prototype for this research included onlysome specific features, such as ordering food and beverages, previewing orderinformation, calling for services, and transferring information to the kitchen. Therefore,other functions, e.g. booking, billing and integrating with a point of sale (POS) system,were excluded in this project.With regards to group interviews, this research focused ononly three main stakeholders, namely the restaurant manager, waiting staff and chefs, toobtain their users’ perceptions on the prototype of e-menu application. 3
  12. 12. 2. Literature ReviewThis literature review explores potential information to identify current knowledge andkey issues relating to development of a prototype of an e-menu application for thecasual restaurant industry to meet business requirements, which are divided into fivesections: E-menu for restaurants, Restaurant service processes, Software usability andHuman-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Software development methodology andprototyping techniques, and finally Mobile application development for restaurant e-menu on iOS or Android devices.2.1 Electronic menu (e-menu) for restaurantsE-menu is a new technology for restaurant ordering solutions. The system includestouch-screen devices installed with a piece of software to show a restaurant menu withactual photos of the dishes (Emenunyy 2012). The touch-screen devices are not onlyused to display the list of food and beverages, but also to process the restaurant services,from ordering to payment (Jenie 2011). In general, an e-menu is used in three differentways: tablet e-menu, table side touch screen e-menu and a touch screen menu forwaiting areas, as shown in Figure 2.1 (Emenu USA 2011; Conceptic no date). However,Chen, Lin and Yen (2011) indicate that interactive restaurant table-top e-menus can alsobe implemented by using interactive surface technology to enlarge the size of menusand increase customer attraction. Figure 2.1- Restaurant e-menu solutions (Emenu USA 2011; Conceptic no date) 4
  13. 13. 2.2 Restaurant service processTo investigate requirements of a restaurant system, logistics and information flows areof importance to analyse the system. As can be seen in Figure 2.2, the dotted lines showthat a customer has to wait for a waitress in order to give the order and make payment.Therefore, these processes can be greatly improved by using an e-menu system(Crowston, Rubleske and Howison 2006). Furthermore, e-menu enables information tobe sent directly from a dining table to the bar and kitchen. Therefore, customers willreceive their orders faster. It also encourages them to order extra food and drinks duringeating or waiting for their orders.Although, the e-menu system can bring several benefits, such as enhances the diningexperience, increases restaurant revenue, and reduces waiting time (Chirag 2012), theyare much more expensive than printed menus, and tend to decrease personal contactbetween customers and waiting staff (Studentwebstuff 2009). Therefore, these keyissues should be considered when developing a prototype of e-menu application. Figure 2.2- Basic process flow diagram of restaurant system (Crowston, Rubleske and Howison 2006) 5
  14. 14. 2.3 Software usability and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)In a software engineering perspective, the usability has been recognized as an essentialkey factor to evaluate software quality (Gulati and Dubey 2012). Majid (2011) similarlydescribes that effectiveness of software can be measured based on its usability in termsof a HCI design and users experience in using the software. Therefore, consideration ofHCI is an essential factor in delivering high quality software following business needs.In addition, because HCI deals with the way that people interact with information onelectronic devices, a HCI design should help non-IT proficient users to use the softwarewithout specialized IT knowledge (Edexcel 2010). For example, effective graphical userinterfaces (GUIs) on e-menus should be easy to use without a user manual or longinstruction by users. Therefore, to answer the research question, HCI design should beconsidered and evaluated by both users and developers in all development processes toproduce the quality of the software prototype (Adikari 2009). The key qualitycomponents of HCI design suggested by Norman and Nielsen (2011) and Nielsen(1993) can be used to enhance usability of the prototype developed in this project asbelow.− Visibility: The application allows users to know the result of each operation.− Feedback: The application allows users to return to a previous screen.− Memorability: Users are easily able to recognise when they return to use software again. The application should contain consistent user interfaces.− Learnability: Users find it easy to accomplish basic tasks in the first time.− Efficiency: Users are quickly able to learn and perform tasks.− Satisfaction: Users are pleasant to use software.However, Hussain et al. (2012) and Gulati and Dubey (2012) similarly suggest thatsuccessful software development is not only associated with HCI and software usability,but is also dependent on how software development processes fit solutions into problemareas required by customers or businesses. The software development methodology isreviewed in the following section. 6
  15. 15. 2.4 Software development methodologies and prototyping techniqueThere are several methodologies for software development to meet customerrequirements such as, waterfall, Agile and RAD (Rapid Application Development). Thewaterfall model is a traditional approach, which clearly separates project developmentinto four separate stages: analysis, design, implementation and testing (Khan et al.2011). Although the waterfall model is an effective way to control deadlines andoutcomes in each process, it has a high cost when requirements are changed. On theother hand, the Agile and RAD approaches are more flexible to change requirements atany stage. With an iterative process, the requirements are fulfilled to increase customersatisfaction (Hoffer, George and Valacich 2008).Furthermore, prototyping is an effective development technique that allows analysts toknow how users react to work with the prototype, and how good the fit is between theirneeds and the prototyped features (Kendall 2011). In addition, after the analysts get theusers’ feedback, they then make a new version to test with users again. This iterativeprocess continues so that users are relatively satisfied. Therefore, the final product canbe developed in a short time following the customer requirements (Hoffer, George andValacich 2008).However, Khan et al. (2011) claims that the RAD approach with prototypingconcentrates mainly on experimenting with the customer needs. It may results ininsufficiently understanding of the overall business requirements. Moreover, RADmethodology also requires trial and error activities in order to investigate an appropriatesolution. Consequently, it is able to increase the overall cost and time for implementinga project that might result in failure of delivery time and spending budget (Cobb2011).Justification of software development methodology is described in the nextchapter. 7
  16. 16. 2.5 Mobile application development on iOS or Android devicesOrdering food and drinks at a dining table usingan e-menu or tablet computer, such asiPad and Samsung Galaxy, is an effective method. The build-in wireless featureenablesthe tablets to connect a network and the Internet easily, and multi-touch screenand its interfaces greatly enhance responsiveness and usability (Ray 2012). With theirslim size, the tablets are easier to install than personal computers used for table sidetouch screen e-menu, and their screen size is bigger than one on a general smart phone.This allows diners to view the e-menu at their convenience and place their orders whenthey are ready to do so (Duffy 2011; Chirag 2012).These days, the majority of applications on tablets are based on Apple’s iOS andGoogle’s Android platform because of their popularity and divergent approaches (Tracy2012). As can be seen in Table 2.5, the iOS platform only supports Apple devices, suchas iPad and iPhone. In contrast, Android is an open-source platform owned by Google,who distributesAndroid operating system to several mobile manufacturers includingSamsung, HTC and LG, to install on their devices. Furthermore, Android applicationsuse mainly Java as a programming language. Developers can use open various sourcedeveloping tools, such as Google Inventor, IBM Eclipse and NetBeans, whereas the iOSplatform uses Objective-C language, which prefers one particular tool, namely Xcode. No Platform Apples iOS Googles Android 1 Owner (Developer) Apple Google 2 Tablet devices support iPad Samsung, HTC, HP, and etc. 3 Sizes of tablet screens 1 (iPad) Several sizes based on devices 4 Operating system (OS) iOS Android based on Linux OS 5 Programming language Objective-C Mainly in Java Object Oriented 6 Yes Yes Programming (OOP) Google App Inventor, IBM Eclipse 7 Preferred developing tool Apple Xcode and NetBeans 8 Open source platform No Yes 9 Annual fee for development $99 per year One time registration fee $25 Software approval before Spend 3-4 weeks for app approval 10 No need publishing by Apple Table 2.5 - Comparison of mobile development platforms on iOS and Android (Ray 2012; Lee 2012; Goadrich and Rogers 2011)Although Android applications can run with a range of hardware, Goadrich and Rogers(2011) and Shackles (2012) similarly mention that developing applications on Android 8
  17. 17. devices is more difficult than that on theiOS platform in terms of user interface designbecause Android devices support a variety of tablet appliances, which all have varyingscreen sizes and hardware specifications. As a result, developers find it hard to designan application, especially user interfaces that fit with those multiple devices.Both iOS and Android have advantages and drawbacks. However, using Web servicesis a good solution to support iPad and Android devices because they can bothcommunicate with iOS and Android platforms.Web services also enable developers toreduce the complexity of coding on mobile devices (Gossweiler et al. 2011). As can beseen in Figure 2.5, accessing databases and business process functionalities can beimplemented by other platforms such as .Net and Java, whereas managing userinterfaces or presentations can be developed separately on iOS and Android devices(Lee 2012; Microsoft ASP.Net Team 2009). Figure 2.5 -Cross-platform communicationusingWeb services Adopted from Microsoft ASP.Net Team (2009) and Lee (2012) 9
  18. 18. 2.6 Conclusion of the literature reviewIn summary, the literature review evaluates a range of sources in identifying currentknowledge and key issues with reference to the focus of the research question ‘how cana prototype of an electronic menu (e-menu) application be developed for the casualdining restaurant industry to meet business requirements?’ Although several sourceshave provided useful information related to developing a restaurant e-menu application,such as types of e-menus, restaurant service processes,software developmentmethodologies, and mobile development on iOS and Android devices, the studyin thedevelopment ofan e-menu application for casual dining restaurants is extremely limited.Therefore, research outcomes are able to fulfil a gap in theresearch domain.Furthermore, the above literature review contains essential information in justifyingappropriate approaches for this research. The diverse justifications are evaluated in thenext section. 10
  19. 19. 3. Justifications of the ApproachesThe objectives of this section are to describe selected research methodologies, tools andtechniques based on the research objectives in order to answer the research question, aswell as to evaluate the chosen methods by comparing with other possible alternatives.As can be seen in Table 3, there are several approaches to archive the researchobjectives. The significant methods, such as case study methodology, directobservation, group interviews, and Rapid Software Development (RAD), are evaluatedand justified in the following paragraphs. No Objectives Approaches Outcomes To identify key issues relating Key issues relating to Critical evaluation the range 1 to development of e-menu development of e-menu of literature application application List of requirements, e-menu To investigate the system Direct observation and Rapid prototype and system 2 requirements and develop the Application Development analysis and design e-menu prototype (RAD) Methodology documents To evaluate users perceptions Group interviews and content 3 Users perceptions of the e-menu prototype analysis To make recommendations Recommendations with Reflection of the software 4 with regards to e-menu regards to the development of development process development e-menu application Summary of chosen methodologies and approaches 1 Research methodology: Case study 2 Software development methodology: Rapid Application Development (RAD) 3 Inductive research approach: To answer the research question 4 Qualitative approaches: To collect data by direct observation and group interviews 5 Content analysis approach: To analyse data from group interviews Table 3-Summary of research objectives, methods and outcomes 11
  20. 20. 3.1 Research process and frameworkThere were four main research stages of this case study, which were design, conducting,analysis and conclusion, as shown in Figure 3.1 (Yin 2010). After identifying theresearch question and key issues with regards to e-menu system and softwaredevelopment, a prototype of e-menu application was developed in the second phasefollowing theRAD approach to analyse, design, develop and evaluate the system (Khanet al. 2011). Several data were collected and analysed in the conducting, analysis andconclusion stages as below.In the conducting stage, requirements were gathered at a selected restaurant by directobservation of the service processes and interviews with related users, such as therestaurant manager, waiting staff and chefs. Then, requirements were analysed to designa database, class diagram, user interfaces, and new restaurant service processes. Lastly,requirements were confirmed and a final prototype was developed, respectively. Figure 3.1 - Research process and framework (Yin 2010; Khan et al. 2011) 12
  21. 21. After the first prototype was developed and evaluated by users, feedback data wascollected by direct observation again in order to analyse and create a new prototypeversion. As can be seen in Figure 3.1, the life cycle of developing the prototype was aniterative process repeated until the users were satisfied. In this case study, the prototypewas demonstrated to the restaurant manager, waiting staff and chefs, whereas theobservation was performed throughout the whole development process.In data analysis process, the approach for interpreting qualitative data was a contentanalysis method. This method could analyse data for the objective and systematicdescription of manifest content of communication. The content analysis method was aneffective technique that helped analyst reducing time and the effect of bias (Kohlbacher2006).In conclusion, collecting data by direct observation in their natural habitats was aneffective way to understand business processes and requirements, especially implicitrequirements. It was also an effective way for getting feedback about the prototype torefine requirements so that it satisfies users (Sehlhorst 2006), whereas qualitative groupinterview approach was a good method to capture the subjective comments ofparticipants and find out the perceptions of users (Blom 2006).3.2 Case study methodologyThis study was conducted an inductive research, which chose a non-probability orconvenience sampling, at a Thai casual dining restaurant in UK.This was because theresearcher is a Thai national, who is familiar with Thai food and the restaurant staff,andhas regularly dined at the restaurant for almost one year. Therefore, it allowed theresearcher to be convenientof contacting them to do this case study. Furthermore, themethodology employed to accomplish the aim and research objectives in this researchwas a case study approach. This was divided into four main stages: design, conduction,analysis of the case study evidence, and the development of the conclusions andimplications (Yin 2010).The case in this research was the development of an e-menu prototype at the chosenrestaurant.The type of research design was a single-case study with two analysis units,which were the evaluation of the software development and users’ perceptions on theprototype of e-menu application. The case study method was not only suitable forconducting evaluation research, but was also appropriate for a descriptive question, 13
  22. 22. such as what or how. It was vastly better than the quantitative approach in terms ofproviding holistic and in-depth explanations of the behavioural problems (Kemanusiaan2007). However, Baxter and Jack (2008) claim that it can be extremely time-consuming.To conduct this case study, qualitative approaches by direct observation and the groupinterview methods were selected to collect data.Firstly, direct observation for requirement analysis is a straightforward activity that canprovide insight into the users and their tasks, whereas indirect observation by videorecording can create more distance between observers and users, and that by interviewsonly can be difficult to clearly understand all problem areas (Kriwaczek 2006).Secondly, although collecting data by a questionnaire method is cheap, convenient andhas no bias by an interviewer, evaluating users’ perceptions of the e-menu system bygroup interviews enable an interviewer to make clear in narrative and unambiguousquestions (Flick 2009). It can also provide both detailed information and somefascinating contextual or other information (Wisker 2008). The comparison amongobservation, interview, and questionnaire methods are summarised as following table. Data collection methods Group Interview Questionnaire Direct Observation Data collection can be time-consuming. No Yes Yes Data analysis can be time-consuming. Yes No Yes Biased by researchers Yes No Yes Complex questions can be explained. Yes No Yes Personal contact involved Yes No Yes High response rates likely Yes No Yes Table 3.2-Comparison among observation, interview and questionnaire (Seale 2012; Flick 2009)3.3 Software development methodology by RAD with prototypingRegarding literature evaluation, Agile and Rapid Application Development (RAD) areiterative software development methodologies to react to the problems with thetraditional waterfall methodology. Agile approach starts from analysis requirements anddesign specifications, then directly to code and test software, whereas the RADapproach uses a prototype to get feedback from customers in order to enhance the 14
  23. 23. prototype until the users are satisfied. This continuous feedback loop enables an RADprototype to correspond exactly with customer needs (Meso and Jain 2011).RAD is appropriate for a small project, which has a shorter delivery time, but Agile issuitable for a larger project (Khan et al. 2011). Furthermore, the RAD approach canenhance the features of the prototype more rapidly to deliver a workable andsatisfactory system. However, using RAD with prototyping may make a systeminadequate for overall business needs if the system is accepted by only specific groupsof users (Hoffer, George and Valacich 2008).This research proposed RAD as a development methodology to develop a prototype forseveral reasons. Firstly, RAD is an incremental software development process model byusing customers’ feedback. Therefore, the quality of the prototype will be improvedthroughout the life cycle as shown in Figure 3.2 (Sommerville 2004). Secondly, Hoffer,George and Valacich (2008) point out that system developed by the RAD model bothspend shorter time and is closer to the business needs than that by the Agile andtraditional models. As a result, the prototype fulfilled requirements can be anddeveloped rapidly. Lastly, Gantthead (2010) mentions that RAD is more effective thanAgile for a narrow project scope with a small implementation team. Therefore, aprototype which implements only some features by one person is more suitable forimplementation by RAD than Agile approach. Figure 3.2-Rapid Application Development (RAD)and prototyping Adapted from Sommerville (2004) 15
  24. 24. 4. Findings and DiscussionThis case study research selected a convenience sampling at a Thai casual diningrestaurant in the UK to do group interviews with ten waiting staff from a total sixteenmembers, as shown in Table 4. In addition, Stopher (2012) mentions that conveniencesamples can be used in exploratory research when the estimation of standard errors isnot important.As can be seen in Figure 4, after the final prototype was demonstrated and the restaurantstaff interviewed, the final two potential outcomes, being the users’ perceptions on thee-menu prototype and the recommendationswith regards to the development of the e-menu application, are summarised and discussed in the following sections. Position held Number of interviewees Total members Data collection date Restaurant manager 1 1 10 August 2012 Waiting staff 4 9 10 August 2012 Chefs 5 6 10 August 2012 Table 4-Interview participant information Figure 4- Software development process and potential outcomes 16
  25. 25. 4.1 Users’ perceptions of the e-menu prototypeAs can be seen in Figure 4.1, after the interview questions were prepared (as shown inAppendices8.6) and the final e-menu prototype was demonstrated,the data was thencollected by group interviews with the restaurant manager, waiting staff and chefs toanalyse their users’ perceptions of the e-menu application and its features.The majority of waiting staffsuggested,similarly to the description of research domainin the literature review, that using an e-menu was not only more convenient fortheircustomers, and themselves, but it could also improve customer service and reducehuman error. Moreover, a minority additionally mentioned that it was another way toattract customers from innovative technology. Nevertheless, they raised three potentialissues that should be brought up, which were the high cost, the older people’s inabilityto use system, and technical issues. The significant users’ perceptions on the e-menuapplication are summarised and discussed as follows. Figure 4.1 - Data collection process and users’ perceptions 17
  26. 26. 4.1.1 ConvenienceThe most restaurant staff mentioned,correspondingly to Emenunyy (2012) in theliterature review, that an e-menu could enhance convenience for restaurant customersbecause it provides full details of food and drinks clearly, such as menu description,images and spice content. Therefore, it is easy for the customer to select theirfavouritedishes. Furthermore, they are also comfortable to make additional ordersandcheck the status of their order without having to ask a waiter.In terms of restaurant staff, as can be seen in Figure 4.1.1, the restaurant manager andwaiting staff similarly believed that an e-menu system would enablethem to be moreefficient because the system would make it easy to revise the menu, add newpromotions, and sell seasonal dishes without having to reprint the menus.Hence, development of an e-menu system should be thoroughly focused on these pointsof view, and it is essential features, such as showing the details of dishes, orderingadditional items and checking the order status,these all need to be carefully consideredin the future development of an e-menu application. Figure 4.1.1 - Users’ perceptions on convenience 18
  27. 27. 4.1.2 Improving customer serviceAccording to key knowledge in the literature review, Jenie (2011) mentions that e-menudevices are not only used to display the list of food and beverages, but also to processthe restaurant services from ordering to payment. Comparatively, the majority ofrestaurant staff agreed that an e-menu system could enhance customer service. Forexample, the system enables restaurant customers to get their order faster because itisunnecessary to wait for them to take their orders,and the ordersare also transferreddirectly to the kitchen and bar. In addition, the customers can instantly call for a waiter,and request for bill and main dishes on e-menus. As a result, they don’t need to wait awaiter, especially during a busy time.Furthermore, the restaurant manager additionally mentioned that, during peak periods,customers always look around to call a waiter to get services, such as ordering extradrinks and making payment. Therefore, this system could enhance customer satisfactionwith regards to receiving their orders and having a quicker service.To develop an e-menu application in the future, the features of requesting a waiter,billing and main course, are essential functions for making the e-menu system to meetbusiness requirements. Figure 4.1.2- Users’ perceptions on improving customer service 19
  28. 28. 4.1.3 Preventing human errorAs the e-menu prototype was developed based on the basic process flow of a restaurantsystem designed by Crowston, Rubleske and Howison (2006) to transfer informationfrom a dining table to the bar and kitchen,most chefs and restaurant manager similarlybelieved that an e-menu system could reduce problems caused by human error.Theyexplained that, during the busy times, orders might beforgotten, especially extra drinks,as waiters forget to pass the orders to the bar or kitchen.Furthermore, poor handwriting, taking wrong orders and miscommunication betweenwaiters and chefs,or waiters and customers might be resulted in the preparation ofincorrect orders. These errors always cases dissatisfaction to the customers, and therestaurant also loses both time and cost to reprepare those orders.The restaurantmanager commented that the e-menu system ensured that all orders of extra drinks weretransferred directly to the bar. It did not only reducing communication problems, but italso enhanced customer satisfaction because the system could make sure that all extraorders would be transferred precisely from customers to bar. Figure 4.1.3 - Users’ perceptions on preventing human error 20
  29. 29. 4.1.4 E-menu issuesAlthough the e-menu system can bring several benefits, there are some significantissues suggested by the majority of restaurant staff. Firstly, the e-menusare much moreexpensive than traditional menus. A waiter illustrated that if a restauranthad onehundred seats, and two seats required one iPad;the restaurant would have to invest infifty iPads, or approximately £20,000 (Apple no date).It was a huge budget comparedwith using paper-based menus and labour costs.On the other hand, the restaurantmanager and some waiting staff members mentioned that e-menu system could boostrevenue from increasing customer numbers and the turnover rate, reducing labour costs,and selling extra food and drinks. Ultimately, most interviewees were similarlysummarised that therestaurant must study the investment feasibility to estimate costsand benefits before making a decision on the e-menu system.Secondly, a minority of restaurant staffwas concerned about when e-menus used byolder people. They suggested that the elderly people might not be familiar with orderingonan electronic device. It could lead them to be dissatisfied in terms of service quality.In contrast, the restaurant manager doubted that it was possible that many older peoplemight be familiar with iPads. For example, they were likely to buy iPad to read e-books.According to recent research, tablet devices,such as iPad and Samsung Galaxy, becomemore popular for elderly people. However, there is a limitation on their usabilityespecially if an application contains text of too small a size (Pattuelli and Rabina 2010).Thirdly, with regards to an issue of decreasing personal contact referred in the literaturereview, most restaurant members thought that an e-menu allowed restaurant customersto call a waiter online. Therefore, it would be more convenient for customers to requesta waiterwhen they would like to obtain services, or ask about recommended dishes.In summary, before making a decision upon the implementation of the e-menu system,a restaurant must study investment feasibility to make sure that the budget investedwould sufficiently increase revenue and services. Furthermore, the development of an e-menu application should take into account that older people are a significant issue, andsome of the solutions, such as making user guide, enlarging size of texts are requiredfeatures to support them. In addition, future research could directly interview oldercustomers to understand their points of viewmore clearly. 21
  30. 30. Figure 4.1.4 -Users’ perceptionson e-menu issues 22
  31. 31. 4.2 Recommendations of e-menu application developmentThe following paragraphs provide important recommendations in context of e-menuapplication development, which is separated into four main sections:Softwaredevelopment processes for e-menu application, System design of the e-menu system,Cross-platform communication between .Net and iOS platforms and Model-View-Controller (MVC) design for e-menu system.4.2.1 Software development processes for e-menu applicationTo develop a restaurant e-menu application, RAD (Rapid Application Development),prototyping and direct observation were effective approaches to deliver a prototype intime and close to business needs. As can be seen in the below figure, the initial processwas started when the researcher went to a case study restaurant to discuss with arestaurant manager to make a list of requirements. Then, several documents, such asER, use case, class and workflow diagrams were initially produced to develop the firstprototype in ASP.Net. After the prototype was presented, users’ feedbackwas collectedto refine list of requirements, system analysis and design documents and Web services. Figure 4.2.1 - E-menu development process and technical system design 23
  32. 32. Next, the second or final prototype was developed by ASP.Net and Xcode. ASP.Netwas used to develop Web services and the back office website for restaurant staff,whereas Xcode was used to develop the e-menu application for restaurant customers.To present the final prototype, several digital artefacts were produced, such as videoand PowerPoint presentations, to present e-menu application, demonstrate software andinterview restaurant staff, respectively. Finally, users’ perceptions andrecommendations of e-menu development were produced in order to answer theresearch question.4.2.2 System design of the e-menu system Figure 4.2.2 - System design of e-menu systemAs can be seen in Figure 4.2.2, the e-menu system consists of three main components:the physical database running on SQL server 2005, e-menu Web services and websitefor restaurant staff running on ASP.Net platform developed by Visual studio 2012, andiPad e-menu application running on iOS platform developed by Xcode. The system hastwo main applications, namely e-menu application on iPad for customers and e-menuwebsite for restaurant staff. The main features of iPad e-menu are selecting menucategories, showing details of food and drinks, confirming orders, checking orderstatuses and requesting services, whereas the main functions of the e-menu website aremanaging tables, and operating orders and service requests. 24
  33. 33. 4.2.3 Cross-platform communication between .Net and iOS platforms Figure 4.2.3 -Cross-platform communication between .Net and iOS platformsWith regards to using Web services for cross-platform communication, the e-menuapplication on iPad has to consume XML Web services as shown in the above figure.Unfortunately, Xcode does not provide build-in functions to generate and parse XMLdata in order to connect with Web services (Lee 2012). Therefore, the researcherhad tocreate the WebServiceManager class to generate and translate XML data. The purposesof this class were to generate SOAP message for consuming Web services, and toreceive SOAP message from Web services and translate it into Xcode variables asshown in Figure 4.2.3.The researcher also developedthe ServiceUtils class to combine all functions providedby Web services, and to convert asynchronous to synchronous communication. As aresult, coding on Xcode for consuming Web services by view’s controllerswasvery easyand encapsulated. For example, the view’s controller of the Listing Category screencould use only one line to get a list of menu categories as shown below. TheServiceUtils class wasalso an example of implementing an object-oriented concept toenhance reusability and reduce complexityof e-menu application. NSMutableArray *ArrMenuCategory = [ServiceUtils GetMenuCategory]; 25
  34. 34. 4.2.4 Model-View-Controller (MVC) design for e-menu system Figure 4.2.4 -Model-View-Controller (MVC) design for e-menu systemMVC concept is an application design pattern, which can be applied in both ASP.Netand iOS platforms. The MVC design in iOS framework helps developers to buildreusable and maintainable program components that can be updated independently (Ray2012; Sadun 2009). Similarly, MVC pattern in terms of ASP.Net enables an applicationto enhance testability, maintainability and flexibility (Microsoft ASP.NetTeam 2009).The e-menu prototype developed in this case study was also applied a MVC concept tobuild the e-menu website in ASP.Net and application on iPad. As can be seen in Figure4.2.4, the model components developed by ASP.Net is connected directly with thephysical database to provide Web services for iOS platform, whereas the model classesin iOS platform takes responsibility to generate and translate SOAP messages for theirview’s controller.With regards to this MVC design, it enables the e-menu application on iPad couldaccess the database through to model components in ASP.net platform. Furthermore,some source codesof the iPad application for user interactions were encapsulated bymodel components on .Net and iOS platforms. 26
  35. 35. 5. Critical Reflection and EvaluationThis critical reflection and evaluation in this section critiques the inclusion of theartefacts, and illustrates what had been learned as a result. It briefly indicates how theresearcher’s thinking has led to produce those artefacts and why they were included inthe portfolio(Crowther and Hill 2012).5.1 Knowledge of the domainDuring implementation of the e-menu prototype, the researcher gained plenty ofknowledge. This was not only obtained by researching various articles to write theliterature review, but also from whilst carrying out authentictasks(Carraccio andEnglander 2004), such as designing a database and new restaurant system, creating anapplication by ASP.Net and Web services, and developing a mobile application on iPad.However, the literature review was an initial task to gain basic knowledge, as well as tofind a gap in the knowledge domain. After the key knowledge was critically evaluated,it enabled the researcherto have sufficient background concept to make decisions andcarry out the research in a suitable direction. The mapping of key knowledge, objectivesand learning points are summarised as follows. Key knowledge No Objectives Learning points of the domain Understand the current use of The current solutions of a To justify the most appropriate 1 e-menu systems, their benefits restaurant e-menu system e-menu solution for a restaurant. and drawbacks. To use as basic knowledge for discussion and observation at the Understand basic restaurant 2 Restaurant service process restaurant, and design a new service processes. process of e-menu application. Software usability and To study how to make good user Understand key factors to 3 Human-Computer interfaces to enhance software enhance HCI. Interaction (HCI) usability and quality. Software development To investigate the most suitable Understand strength and 4 methodologies and approach to implement the weakness of each software prototyping technique e-menu prototype. development methodology. Mobile application To find a better way to develop Understand iOS and Android 5 development for e-menu on e-menu application for this case development, and how to use iOS or Android devices study. Web services with mobile app. Table 5.1 -Mapping key knowledge, objectives and learning points 27
  36. 36. Firstly, as can be seen in Table 5.1, the current solutions of a restaurant e-menu systemhelped the researcher and restaurant manager to justify an appropriate e-menu solutionfor the restaurant. After existing e-menu systems, such as tablet e-menu, table sidetouch screen e-menu, table top e-menu, and standalone e-menu for waiting area, werestudied and presented to the manager, he quickly understood the systems and decidedthat a tablet e-menu solution was the most suitable for his restaurant.Secondly, the restaurant service process enabled the researcher tounderstand a generalrestaurant service process prior to discussion and observation at the restaurant to gatherrequirements and analysis of the system. Although the basic restaurant process from theliterature review was different to the actual process at the case study restaurant, it was abasic background to design a new e-menu system in an effective way.Thirdly, the key knowledge of software usability and HCI let the researcher create user-friendly interfaces of an e-menu application. The HCI principleswere not only used todesign the e-menu application,theywere also criteria to evaluate and improve theprototype. Furthermore, the knowledge of software development methodology was anessential factor in delivering the quality of the e-menu prototype in time and followingbusiness requirements for this case study.Lastly, learning about mobile development helped the understanding of the currentmobile technology, especially iOS and Android devices. Consequently, the chosensolution of integrating Web services and mobile application could reduce complexityand time for development of the e-menu prototype. 28
  37. 37. 5.2 Justification of the approachesAlthough the key knowledge of several approaches had learned from writing theliterature review and justification of approaches, the researcher could obviouslyemphasize the points about them after performing the practical tasks, such as directobservation, group interviews, system design and the coding of an e-menu application.There were several problems, which needed to be solved even though the researchframework and essential principles had been considered before starting the softwaredevelopment stage. For example, as can be seen in Table 5.2, the majority of problemsof the chosen approaches were time-consuming. The researcher, however, had to findadditional tools, namely an action plan as shown in Appendices 8.1, to manage time forboth developing an e-menu prototype and producing research documents.Ultimately,this dissertation was finishedwell on time, and the e-menu prototype was successfullyproduced based on users’ requirements.Furthermore, choosing the appropriate approaches and methods enabled theresearcherto underpin the dissertation work and create a portfolio in an effective way.The chosen approaches, their potential, limitations and the learning points aresummarised below.No Approaches Potentials Limitations Learning points Appropriate for a Understandingof in-depth 1 Case Study descriptive research Time-consuming business requirements to question develop an e-menu. - The prototype fulfilled Prototyping was an effective requirements and could Rapid Application May make the system approach in gathering develop quickly. 2 Development (RAD) inadequate for overall implicit requirements and - Quality of prototype with prototyping business needs increasing customer was improved satisfaction. throughout the life cycle Observation by working with - Time-consuming Provide an inside into users was anexcellent way to 3 Direct observation -Disturb working of the users and their tasks understand existing problems staff to develop a new system Direct interviews could help -Make clear in any the researcher to make ambiguous question. Time-consuming for additional recommendations 4 Group interviews - Able to get more data analysis of e-menu features for additional requirements. producing an e-menu application in the future. Recommendations for future work research built on this current work - Apply this case study to other places such as café, cafeteria or fast food restaurant. - Use recommendations from group interviews to produce a real product of e-menu application. 29
  38. 38. Table 5.2 - Mapping approaches, their potentials, limitations and learning pointsInitially, a case study approach was used as a core methodology for this research.Interms of software development, the choosing of a pilot project at only one Thai diningrestaurant was an effective way to understand the system requirements, rather than togather information from several restaurants because it would take a much longer time todiscover the in-depth requirements.Secondly, the RAD with a prototyping approach was an effective software developmenttool that enabled the researcher to reduce time for implementation as well as to enhancethe features to meet the business needs quicker. Because some implicit requirementscould not be provided by stakeholders at the beginning; therefore, demonstration of thee-menu prototype allowed the restaurant manager and staff to give more requirements tofulfil business requirements. For example, a requirement gathered before developing theprototype was selecting a menu category to order food and drinks. After the prototypewas presented, most restaurant staff agreed that the Drinks category should be putbefore the Starter as can be seen in Figure 5.2. Furthermore, the RAD approach enabledthe developer to work closely with stakeholders when gathering requirements andreceiving feedbacks. Consequently, the final prototype could be developed more closelywith business needs. Figure 5.2 - Example of an implicit requirement 30
  39. 39. Thirdly, direct observation was an effective way to analyse restaurant businessprocedure.The researcher could work friendly with waiting staff and chefsto monitor allprocesses at the restaurant. However, the direct observation method appeared to disturbworking staff. Therefore, the researcher decided to work as a waiter to get more insightintothe business processes. Eventually, the researcher could understand all restaurantservices processes in a short time in order to develop the prototype of e-menuapplication.Lastly, direct group interviewswere also useful. They did not only help in the users’understanding and perceptions, but they were also used for software evaluation. As aresult, several useful recommendations of e-the menu features were provided byrestaurant stakeholders, namelythe restaurant manager, waiting staff and chefs, and theresearchercould take advantages of this to make recommendations, which could be usedby software development companies and practitioners who are interested in thedevelopment of an e-menu application.In conclusion, this case study was specific for only one types of restaurant. However, inthe real world, there are many kinds of eating places, which could use an e-menusystem for instance, cafés, bars, and fast-food restaurants. Therefore, further study couldapply some of the approaches used in this dissertation to carry out future researchforother kinds of restaurants. 31
  40. 40. 5.3 Overall reflective commentary with regards to research outcomesThe overall reflective commentary is a scholarly piece of writing that brings theevidence together to make sense of individual items, and to evaluate the main processesused and experienced whilst conducting this research to produce the artefacts andresearch outcomes as shown in Appendices8.3-8.5(Crowther and Hill 2012). Theresearch processes for generating potential outcomes are critical evaluated as below.5.3.1 System analysis and design documentsAccording to the literature review, software developed by the Rapid ApplicationDevelopment (RAD) methodology with prototyping takes shorter time and becomescloser to business requirements other methodologies (Hoffer, George and Valacich2008). During development of the e-menu prototype, it was found that system analysisand design documents could be developed quickly because an existing restaurantsystem could be investigated effectively by discussion, direct observation and workingas a waiter, whereas collecting requirements without direct observation could make itdifficult to understand all obvious problem areas (Kriwaczek 2006). Ultimately, thesystem analysis and design documents had been produced within two weeks to design adatabase and develop e-menu application. Those documents are discussed as follows.Firstly, a list of functional and non-functional requirements was initially produced toconfirm requirements with the restaurant manager and to design the e-menu system.Secondly, an UML use case diagram was created to discuss with the manager to findout who users were and what exactly they wanted? (Kendal 2011). Thirdly, an UMLclass diagram was used to design the e-menu database and classes in ASP.Net. Revelle,Gethers and Poshvanyk (2011) mentions that a class diagram is data model of object-oriented design, which can enhance software quality. With regards to this process, theresearcher realised that the quality of e-menu software was greatly improved becauseclasses, which was designed based on object-orient concept, enabled software to beeasily maintained and developed. They contained reusable functions, which couldreduce the complexity of source code. Furthermore, ER-diagram was useful to model arelational database.The details of primary keys, foreign keys and relationships enabledthe e-menu database to be able to prevent incorrect data being inserted into the database(Connolly and Begg 2011). Finally, using workflow and process diagrams was aneffective way to discuss restaurant service processes with the restaurant manager. Those 32
  41. 41. diagrams helped the researcher more easily confirm requirements than using only verbaldiscussion.To sum up, the system analysis and design documents could be produced during theobservation process to gather system requirements and analyse the system. However,direct observation appeared to disturb working staff. Therefore, working as a waiter wasa beneficial way to overcome this problem.5.3.2 Prototype of e-menu applicationIn this research, two versions of the prototype were developed. The first version wasproduced only in ASP.Net, whereas the final version was developed in ASP.Net andXcode. Howcroft and Carroll (2000) mention that the RAD prototype does not need tobe developed into the finished system unlike conventional prototyping methods. As canbe seen in the below figure, although the first version of e-menu prototype wasdemonstrated to users on the website instead of iPad, it could also be used to getfeedback from them effectively. Developing in ASP.Net did not only enable theresearcher to save time to develop the e-menu application, but it also could be used totest ASP.Net Web services before integrating with Xcode in the next stage. Figure 5.3.2- The first and final versions of the e-menu prototype 33
  42. 42. Furthermore, the final prototype was separated into three main components: the iPad e-menu application developed for restaurant customers, the e-menu website created inASP.Net for restaurant staff, and ASP.Net Web services providing functionalities forthe iPad e-menu application. Moreover, slide and video presentations were produced topresent to restaurant staff before demonstrating the e-menu software. All of these wereused as a set of tools to collect data for the third and final outcomes, namelyusers’perceptions and recommendations of e-menu application development.5.3.3 Users’ perceptions on the prototype of e-menu applicationAfter presenting the final prototype of the e-menu application and performing groupinterviews at a case study restaurant, three main advantages of e-menu system and thepotential issues analysed from users’ perceptions as below;Firstly, similar to knowledge in the literature review mentioned by Emenu USA (2011),using e-menu application can enhance convenience for restaurant customers and staff.The customers are easy to preview details of food, make additional order and checkstatus of their orders without having to ask a waiter. On the other hand, restaurant staffis convenient to revise menu, add a new promotions and sell seasonal dishes withouthaving to reprint the paper-based menus.Secondly, an e-menu system can increase customer service because the system allowsdiners to order from their table, thenthat orderis be transferred to the kitchen and barimmediately (Crowston, Rubleske and Howison 2006). Moreover, using e-menuenablesdinners to be more satisfied because it can online call a waiter and request billing.Therefore, this feature can reduce a problem of the delay in receiving the bill andservices, which causes of customer irritation (Gustafsson et al. 2006).Thirdly, the e-menu system can reduce problems caused by human error, especiallyduring the busy times. As the system allows an order to be transferred online, it cangreatly reduce human error, such as a verbal miscommunication between staff anddinners, or staff and chefs. Serving a wrong order is a risk of dissatisfaction because acustomer has to wait more time for cooking a new dish (Gustafsson et al. 2006).Although using the e-menu is convenient, enhance customer service, and reduce humanerror, there are significant issues, which should be considered when implementing a reale-menu application. Initially, the cost of an e-menu system is very much higher thanthat of a paper-based menu.Moreover, elderly people might not be comfortable using an 34
  43. 43. iPad e-menu. Lastly, additional significant features, which should be developed whenproducing the real e-menu software, are support of multiple languages, ordering byquantity, and providing an e-menu user’s guide.5.3.4 Recommendations of e-menu application developmentAfter the final prototype of an e-menu application was developed, it was found thatthere were three interesting methods,which were mainly concerned in development ofan e-menu application.Firstly, software development methodology is an essential factor to manage a successfulsoftware project (Khan, Niazi and Ahmad 2009; Misra and Kumar 2009). As RADmethodology was chosen to develop an e-menu prototype,it was found that the softwareprototype could be developed in a short time to meet business needs. With prototypingand direct observation techniques, several implicit requirements from users’ feedbackwere incrementally investigated to fulfil the requirements throughout the developmentlife-cycle. However, on-site observation could, and did,interrupt working staff.Moreover, using Web services was a good solution for cross-platform development. Inthis project, Web services were not only used to communicate between the back officewebsite and iPad application, but they were created to support other platform devices,such as Android devices, for use in the future. Nevertheless, coding in Xcode wasdifficult when generating and parsing XML data to communicate with Web servicesbecause Xcode did not provide built-in functions to connect with Web services as doother languages, such as PHP, Java and .Net (Lee 2012).Finally, MVC design pattern is useful in separating between business logic and userinterfaces (Ray 2012; ASP.Net Team 2009). The e-menu prototype was also designedbased on MVC concept. As a result, it allowed the researcher to maintain sourcecodesconveniently after additional requirements were added. It was because ofchanging the user interfaces on the iPad application that it became less consequential toWeb services and business logic source codes. Furthermore, the source codes based onMVC pattern were separatelydeveloped.Therefore, they were also very easy to test andrectify errors found by users and the researcher. However, this method was quite time-consuming in the early stages of development as it was necessary tocompleteprogrammingWeb services before creating user interfacesin order to developand test the prototype. 35
  44. 44. 6. Conclusion and Limitations6.1 ConclusionsThis dissertation employed a case study approach based on qualitative empiricalresearch at a Thai restaurant in the UK to answer the research question ‘how can aprototype of an e-menu application be developed for the casual dining restaurantindustry to meet business requirements’. The purposes of this study were to identify thekey issues relating to development of an e-menu application, to investigate systemrequirements and develop an e-menu prototype based on RAD methodology, to evaluateusers’ perceptions on e-menu, and to make recommendations with regards to e-menudevelopment. As a result, this research could generate four potential outcomes asfollows.Firstly, during direct observation at a case study restaurant in UK, a list of businessrequirements, UML use case and class diagrams, Entity-Relationship (ER), workflowand process diagrams were produced to analyse and design the system, and to developthe prototype of e-menu application.Secondly, after the software development process, the prototype was developed andseparated into three main components: the iPad e-menu application developed forrestaurant customers, the e-menu website created in ASP.Net for restaurant staff, andthe ASP.Net Web services providing functionalities for the iPad e-menu application.Furthermore, slide and video presentations were produced to present to the restaurantmanager and staff before demonstrating the e-menu software. All of these were used asa set of tools to collect data for the last two outcomes, namely users’ perceptions, andrecommendations of e-menu application development.Thirdly, with regards to users’ perceptions, the majority of restaurant staff believed thatusing e-menu application would be more convenient for their customers andthemselves, enhance customer service, and reduce human error. However, theysuggested significant issues, which should be considered when developing afinishede-menu application. For example, the cost of an e-menu system was very much higherthan that of paper-based menus, and elderly people might not be comfortable using iPade-menus. Furthermore, additional requirements were also suggested when producing ane-menu system for the Thai restaurant, such as support of multiple languages, orderingby quantity, and providing an e-menu user’s guide. 36
  45. 45. Finally, in terms of recommendations with regards to e-menu development, theprototype was totally developed based on the knowledge domain studied. RADmethodology with prototyping was an appropriate solution to develop an e-menuapplication. It enabled the prototype’s features to be improved to meet business needs ina short time. Moreover, direct observation was as an excellent approach to help theresearcher to understand obvious business requirements. However, this method didappear to disturb some of the working staff. Furthermore, as the Web services weredeveloped in ASP.Net, it could not only reduce complexity and time for coding the iPadapplication, but it could also be flexible when developing Android devices in the future.Lastly, the Model-View-Controller (MVC) concept applied in this project couldenhance testability, maintainability and flexibility of the e-menu application.6.2 Critical evaluation of learning experienceThroughout the experience of producing this dissertation portfolio, several lessons havebeen learned. The following paragraphs evaluate learning experience from two differentaspects: the researcher and restaurant industry.Firstly, throughout the process of research, the researchers have gained a lot of hard andsoft skills, such as software development, project management, documentation,presentation and communication skills, all of which will be useful in the future. Firstly,software development skillswere an important hard skill learned during development ofthe e-menu prototype. With regards to programming skills, it was not only coding inObjective-C language for iPad, but developing Web services and ASP.Net was alsostudied at the same time. Furthermore, project management was a learning skill used forplanning and managing resources to achieve the completed portfolio. Lastly, theresearcher had also obtained the soft skill of documentation, during creating severaldocuments, such as system analysis and design, user manual and formal writtendocuments, whereas the presentation and communication skills have been learnedwhilst gathering business requirements and presenting the prototype.Secondly, in terms of restaurant industry, the restaurant manager and staff realised thate-menu system was interesting and it could be more convenient for both restaurantcustomers and staff, enhance customer service, reduce human error and attract a newcustomer group. However, there are some issues, which should be considered before 37
  46. 46. implementing an e-menu system, such as the high cost of the system, the older people’sinability to use system, and technical issues6.3 Limitations and recommendations for further researchEven though this dissertation could produce potential outcomes following the researchquestion, there were some limitations, which could be improved onfuture research. Interms of the users’ perceptions of the e-menu system, this case study interviewed onlyrestaurant staff.However, there were some issues suggested by those staff, such asenhancing customer service and using by elderly people. Therefore, future researchcould carry out a case study based on this prototype to examine exact perceptions fromrestaurant customers.Furthermore, this research focused on developing e-menu for onlyiPad. Thus, future research could apply system design and source codesin this portfolioto develop for other kinds of e-menu, for example, table side e-menu or standalone e-menu for waiting area. Moreover, implementing on another platform, such as Androidor .Net, is an alternative to carry out future research. Finally, additional featuressuggested by restaurant staff, for instance, integration with PoS system and advertisingof new promotions during meals, could also be conductedto develop a new prototypewith more functionalities as well as study users’ perceptions of those requirements.6.4 Research contributionInitially, a prototype of e-menu application, system analysis and design documents,such as database design, use case, class diagrams, and feedback from development ofthe e-menu prototype could be of benefit to software practitioners and developers whoare interested in software development, especially for mobile application, restaurantsystem and RAD methodology. Furthermore, the prototype and system designdocuments of this case study will be useful to produce the final product of an e-menusystem in the future.In addition, the summary of users’ perceptions on using e-menu application can beinformation for restaurant owners and people who would like to start a restaurantbusiness. It can help them to make decisions with regards to implementation of the e-menu system to improve their service efficiency and customer satisfaction.Furthermore, this case study also could generalise the result for other types ofrestaurants, for instance, fast food restaurants, cafes and pubs, because most restaurantsuse menus for ordering food and beverage as a basic function. 38
  47. 47. 7. ReferencesADIKARI, Sisira (2009). Little design up-front: A design science approach tointegrating usability in Agile requirements engineering. [online]. Information SystemsJournal, 5610, 549-558. Article from SpringerLink last accessed 3 September 2012 at:http://www.springerlink.com/content/ht82546644q57x36.APPLE (no date). Apple Store: iPad 2. [online]. Last accessed 3 September 2012 at:http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad.AZILEN TECHNOLOGY (2011). Significance benefits and role of digital menu inrestaurant. [online]. Last accessed 3 September 2012 at:http://www.articlesbase.com/business-opportunities-articles/significance-benefits-and-role-of-digital-menu-in-restaurant-4925002.html.BAXTER, Pamela and JACK, Susan (2008). Qualitative Case Study Methodology:Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers. [online]. The QualitativeReport. 13(4), 544-559. Article from Nova South Eastern University last accessed 3September 2012 at: http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR13-4/baxter.pdf.BLOM, Martin (2006). Empirical Evaluations of Semantic Aspects in SoftwareDevelopment. [online]. Last accessed 3 September 2012 at: http://kau.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:6529/FULLTEXT01.CARRACCIO, Carol and ENGLANDER, Robert (2004). Evaluating CompetenceUsing a Portfolio: A Literature Review and Web-Based Application to the ACGMECompetencies. Teaching and learning in medicine, 6 (14), 381-387.CHEN, Ting-Han, LIN, Hsin-Hou and YEN, Yi-Di (2011). Mojo iCuisine: The designand implementation of an interactive restaurant tabletop menu. [online]. Human-computer Interaction, 6763, 185-194. Article from SpringerLink last accessed 3September 2012 at:http://www.springerlink.com/content/m307510134401751/fulltext.pdf.CHIRAG (2012). E-Menu. [online]. Last accessed 3 September 2012 at: http://e-menu-chr.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_01_archive.html.COBB, Charles G. (2011). Making Sense of Agile Project Management. New Jersey,John Wiley & Sons.CONCEPTIC (no date). iPad eMenu for restaurant. [online]. Last accessed 3September 2012 at: http://www.emenu-international.com/iPad-menu-for-restaurants.CROWSTON, Kevin, RUBLESKE, Joseph and HOWISON, James (2006).Coordination Theory: A Ten-Year Retrospective. [online]. Last accessed 3 September2012 at: http://crowston.syr.edu/system/files/CT%20Review%20to%20distribute.pdf. 39
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  52. 52. 8. Appendices8.1 Project PlanTo deliver a quality of dissertation by portfolio artefacts, a final e-menu prototype andsoftware development documents on time, based on business needs, and with highcustomer satisfaction. The dissertation action plan and the Gantt chart of projectmilestones were created in the beginning phase and had updated throughout thedevelopment process as shown in following figures. Figure 8.1.1 - The initial and last updated action plan for dissertation 44
  53. 53. Figure 8.1.2- Gantt chart of project milestones 45

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