Dissertation Proposal (E-menu system)


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Topic: Dissertation Proposal (E-menu system)
Module: Research Principles and Practices
Date: Apr 2012
Mark: 78%
Sheffield Hallam University

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Dissertation Proposal (E-menu system)

  1. 1. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal A Development of Electronic Menu (E-menu) Application for Restaurant on iPad By Traitet Thepbandansuk, Student ID 20043132 MSc. Enterprise Systems Professional, Sheffield Hallam University 1. Introduction Development of technology enables people to become more comfortable in most areas of our lives. The restaurant industry is an area which has remained behind the technical advances until recently, when the electronic menu (e-menu) started being used to improve catering services and increase revenue. Nowadays, the e-menu is becoming popular and changing the concept of food ordering by paper-based menus. As canbe seen in figure 1, restaurant customers are able to view the items listed on the menu as well asbeing able toorder directly from tablets or touch-screen monitors located on tables, which offer customers a full range of ordering choices (Azilen 2011). This researchwill conduct aninductive approach by case study methodologyat a Thai restaurant to develop a software prototype and evaluate users’ perceptions.This research will employ qualitative methods, such as passive observationto gather system requirements and test the prototype, and group interviews to evaluate users’ perceptions. To conduct this research, this paper proposes research design divided into six main sections:Research question and objectives, Critical evaluation of literature, Research methods, tools and techniques, Research process, Potential outcomes, and Issues of access and ethics. Fig.1 - E-menu on iPad tablet (Conceptic no date)Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 1 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  2. 2. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP 2. Research question and objectives The aim of this research is to study that how to develop e-menu application for casual restaurants to meet their business requirements. The research question, objectives and limitations of research are summarised below. 2.1 Research question How can a prototype of an electronic menu (e-menu) application be developed for the casual dining restaurant industry to meet business requirements? 2.2 Research objectives 1. To identify the key issues relating to the development of an e-menu application for the casual restaurant industry. 2. To investigate the system requirements, and analyse, design and develop an e-menu prototype to meet business needs. 3. To evaluate users’ perceptions on the final prototype of the e-menu application from stakeholders such as restaurant customers, owners and waiting staff. 4. To make recommendations regarding the development of the e-menu application based on chosen software development methodology. The first objective begins with the critical evaluationthe range of literature to find out the potential issues relating to the development of the e-menu application, such as the current use of paper-based menus and e-menusat restaurants,and the software development methodology. The second objective is to gather system requirements to design and develop the e-menu prototype, and produce software development documents.In addition, to deliveringsoftware to meet business needs, Hanafiah (2007) suggests that the software development approach should be compatible with customer requirements, project team and time of implementation. The third and final objectives are focused on data collection and analysis. Group interviews will be used for data collection to analyse users’ perceptions, which are expected to answer the research question in terms of developing ane-menu application to meet business requirements, whereas the software development processes will be reflected to make recommendations regarding the development of thee-menu application to meet business needs. 2.3 Limitations of research The proposed dissertation is a product-based project involving the application of software engineering techniques to analyse, design, and develop of a piece of software (University of Oxford no date). The software prototype for this research includes only some specific features such as ordering food and beverages, previewing order information, 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, are excludedin this project.Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 2 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  3. 3. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP 3. Critical evaluation of literature This critical evaluation explores potential informationto identify current knowledge and key issues relating to development of a prototype of an e-menu application for the casual restaurant industry, which are divided into foursections: E-menu for restaurants, Restaurant service processes, Software usabilityand human-computer interaction (HCI), and Software development methodology and prototyping techniques. 3.1 Electronic menu (e-menu) for restaurants The e-menu system is a new technology for restaurant ordering solutions. The system includes touch-screen devices installed with a piece of software to show a restaurant menu with actual photos of the dishes (Emenunyy2012). The touch-screen devicesare not only used 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 different ways: tablet menu, table side touch screen menu and a touch screen menu for waiting areas, as shown in figure 2 (Emenu USA 2011; Conceptic no date). However, Chen, Lin, and Yen (2011) indicate that interactive restaurant tabletop menuscan also be implementedby using interactive surface technology to enlarge the size of menus and increase customer attraction. Fig.2 - E-menu (Emenu USA 2011; Conceptic no date)Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 3 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  4. 4. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP 3.2 Restaurant service process To investigate requirements of a restaurant system, logistics and information flowsare of importance to analyse the system. As can be seen in figure 3, the dotted lines show that 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 to be sent directly from a table to the bar or kitchen. Although, the e-menu system can bring several benefits, e.g. enhance the dining experience, increasesrestaurant revenue, and reduces waiting time (Chirag 2012),they are much more expensive than printed menus, and tend to decrease personal contact between customers and waiting staffs (Studentwebstuff 2009). Fig.3- Basic process flow diagram of restaurant system (Crowston, Rubleske and Howison 2006) 3.3 Software usability and human-computer interaction (HCI) In a software engineering perspective, the usability has been recognized as an essential key factor to evaluate software quality (Gulati and Dubey 2012). Majid (2011) similarly describes that effectiveness of software can be measured based on its usability in terms of a HCI design and users experience in using the software. Therefore, consideration of HCI is an essential factor in delivering high usability software following business needs. In addition, because HCI deals with the way that people interact with information on electronic devices, a HCI design should help non-IT proficient users to use the software without specialized IT knowledge (Edexcel 2010). For example, effective graphical user interfaces (GUIs) on e-menus should be easy to use without a user manual. Therefore, to answer the research question, HCI design should be considered and evaluated by both users and developers in all development processes to produce the quality of the software prototype (Adikari 2009).Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 4 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  5. 5. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP However, Hussain et al. (2012) and (Gulati and Dubey 2012) similarly suggest that successful software development is not only associated with HCI and software usability, but is also dependent on how software development processes fit solutions into problem areas required by customers or businesses. The software development methodology is reviewed in the following paragraph. 3.4 Software development methodologies and prototyping technique There are several methodologies forsoftware development to meet customer requirements, e.g. waterfall, Agile and RAD (Rapid Application Development). The waterfall model is a traditional approachwhich clearly separates development projects into fourseparate stages:analysis, design, implementation and testing (Khan et al. 2011). Although the waterfall model is an effective way to control deadlines and outcomes in each process, it hasa high cost whenrequirementsare changed. On the other hand,the Agile and RAD approachesare more flexible to change requirements at any stage. With an iterative process, the requirements are fulfilled to increase customer satisfaction (Hoffer, George and Valacich 2008). Prototyping is an effective development techniquethat allows analyststo know how users react to work with the prototype and how good the fit is between their needs and the prototyped features (Kendall 2011). In addition, after the analysts get the users’ feedback, they then make a new version to test with users again. This iterative process continues so that users are relatively satisfied. Therefore, the final product can be developed in a short time following the customer requirements (Hoffer, George and Valacich 2008). However, Khan et al. (2011) claims that the RAD approach with prototyping concentrates mainly on experimenting with the customer needs.It may results in insufficiently understanding of the overall business requirements.Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 5 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  6. 6. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP 4. Research methods, tools and techniques The objectives of this section are to describe selected research methodologies, tools and techniques based on the research objectives in order to answer the research question, as well as to evaluate the chosen methods by comparing with other possible alternatives. As can be seen in table 1, there are several approaches to archive the research objectives. Some essential methods, such as case study methodology, direct observation, group interviews, and rapid software development (RAD), are evaluated and justified in the following paragraphs. Table 1 - Matching objectives to methods and outcomes, and summary of chosen methodologiesCourse: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 6 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  7. 7. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP 4.1 Case study methodology This study conducts an inductive research. The proposed methodology to accomplish the aim and research objectives in this research is a case study approach. This is divided into four main stages: design, conducting, analysis the case study evidence, and developing the conclusions and implications (Yin 2010). The case in this research is the development of ane-menu prototype at a selected Thai casual dining restaurant. The type of research design is a single-case study with two analysis units, which are the evaluation of the software development and users’ perceptions. The case study method is not only suitable for conducting evaluation research, but is also appropriate for a descriptive question, such as what or how. It is better than a quantitative approach in terms of providing holistic and in-depth explanations of the behavioral problems (Kemanusiaan 2007). However, Baxter and Jack (2008) claim that it can also be extremely time consuming. To conduct thiscase study, qualitative approachesby direct observation and the group interview methods are selectedto collect data. Firstly, direct observation for requirement analysis is a straightforward activity that can provide insight into the users and their tasks, whereas indirect observation by video recording can create more distance between observers and users, and that by interviews onlycan be difficult to clearly understand all problem areas (Kriwaczek 2006). Secondly, although collecting data by a questionnaire method is cheap, convenient and has no bias by an interviewer, evaluating users’ perceptions of the e-menu system by group interviews enable an interviewer to make clear in unambiguous question as well as prevent missing important data (Slack 2012a). It can also provide both detailed information and some fascinating contextual or other information (Wisker 2008). The comparison among observation, interview, and questionnaire methods are summarized as following table. Table 2 - Comparison table among observation, interview and questionnaire methods (Slack 2012b)Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 7 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  8. 8. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP 4.2 Software development methodology by RAD with prototyping Regarding literature evaluation, Agile and rapid application development (RAD)are iterative software development methodologies to react to the problems with the traditional waterfall methodology. Agile approach starts from analysis requirements and design specifications, then directly to code and test software, whereas the RAD approach uses a prototype to get feedback from customers in order to enhance the prototype until the users are satisfied. This continuous feedback loop enablesan RAD prototype to correspondexactly with customer needs (Meso and Jain 2011). Moreover, RAD is appropriate for a small project which has a shorter delivery time, but Agileis suitable for a largerproject (Khan et al. 2011). Finally, the RAD approach can enhance the features of the prototype more rapidly to deliver a workable and satisfactory system. However, using RAD with prototyping may make a system inadequate for overall business needs if the system is accepted by only specific groups of users (Hoffer, George and Valacich 2008). This research proposes RAD as a development methodology to develop a prototype for several reasons. Firstly, RAD is an incremental software development process model by using customers’ feedback. Therefore, the quality of the prototype will be improved throughout the life cycleas shown in figure 4 (Sommerville 2004). Secondly, Hoffer, George and Valacich (2008) point out that system developed by the RAD model both spend shorter time and is closer to the business needs than that by the Agile and traditional models. As a result, the prototype fulfilled requirements can be and developed rapidly. Finally, Gantthead (2010) mentions that RAD is more effective than Agile for a narrow project scope with a small implementation team. Therefore, a prototype which implements only some features by one person is more suitable forimplementation by RAD than Agile approach. Fig.4- RAD Prototype model (Sommerville 2004)Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 8 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  9. 9. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP 5. Research process There are four main research stages of this case study,which are design, conducting, analysis and conclusion,as shown in figure 5(Yin 2010). In the second phase, a prototype is developed following the RAD approach to analyse, design, develop and test the system (Khan et al. 2011).Data arecollected and analysedin the conducting, analysis and conclusion stages as follows. In the conducting stage, requirements are gathered at a selected restaurant by direct observation of the service processes and interviews with related users such as the owner, chefs and waiters. Then, requirements are analysed to design user interfaces and new restaurant serviceprocesses. Lastly, requirementsare confirmed and an initial prototype is developed, respectively. After the first prototype is developed and tested by users, feedback data is collected by direct observation again in order to analyse and create a new prototype version. As can be seen in figure 5, the life cycle of developingtheprototype is an iterative process repeated until theusers are satisfied. In addition, after the final prototype is completed and tested by waiting staffs and customers,data is then collected by group interviews from the restaurant owner and all waiting staff, whereas a non- probability sample of around ten customer groups are selected to interview. Fig.5- Proposed research process framework (Yin 2010; Khan et al. 2011)Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 9 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  10. 10. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP In data analysis process, the approach for interpreting qualitative data is a content analysis method.This method can analyse data for the objective and systematic description of manifest content of communication. It is an effective technique that helps analyst reducing time and the effect of bias (Kohlbacher 2006). In conclusion, collecting data by direct observation in their natural habitats is an effective way to understand business processes and requirements, especially implicit requirements. It is also an effective way for getting feedback about the prototype to refine requirements so that it satisfies users (Sehlhorst 2006), whereas qualitative group interviewapproach is a good method to capture the subjective comments of participants and find out the perceptions of users (Blom 2006). 6. Potential outcomes This research is expected to design and develop a prototype of e-menu application for a Thai casual dining restaurant. The potential outcomescan be defined in terms of software development artifacts,users’ perceptions and recommendations regarding development of thee-menu application. Firstly, a prototype of e-menu application, system analysis and design documents,such asdatabase design, use case, class diagrams, and feedback from development of the e-menu prototypecan be of benefit to software practitioners and developers who are interested in software development, especially for mobile application, restaurant system and RAD methodology. Furthermore, the prototype and system design documents of this case study will be useful to produce the final product ofane-menu system in the future. Secondly, the summary of users’ perceptions on using e-menu application canbe information for restaurant owners and people who would like to starta restaurant business. It can help them to make decisionswith regards to implementation of thee-menu system to improvetheir service efficiency and customer satisfaction. In addition, this case study can also generalize the result to other types of restaurants, e.g. fast food restaurants, cafes and pubs,because most restaurantsuse menus for ordering food and beverage as a basic function.Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 10 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  11. 11. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPP 7. Issues of access and ethics There are some ethical issues that need to be addressed in this research. Firstly, in the direct observation process at a selected restaurant, a researcher must request formal permission to observe activities, and must not disclose business information without permission,e.g. revenue and number of customers.Moreover, all information has to be reviewed by the restaurant owner and related people before submission. Finally, in the interview process, the researcher must explain the objectives of the research to participants and request permission to record sound or video during the interviews (Wisker 2008). 8. Conclusion To sum up, this inductive research will employa case study approach to answer the research question that is how can a prototype of an electronic menu (e-menu) application be developed for the casual dining restaurant industry to meet business requirements? The case study will use qualitative approaches i.e. direct observation to develop a software prototype, and group interviews to evaluate users’ perceptions.Finally, this research is expected that the software prototype, system design documents and suggestions in this development will be of benefit to software practitioners and developers who are interested in the development of mobile applications, especially for the restaurant industry. It is also hoped to be of a particular interest to restaurant owners who are looking towards improving their service efficiency and customer satisfaction by using an e-menu system.Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 11 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  12. 12. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPPREFERENCESADIKARI, Sisira (2009). Little design up-front: A design science approach to integrating usability in Agilerequirements engineering. [online]. Information Systems Journal, 5610, 549-558. Article from Mendeley lastaccessed 1 April 2012 at: http://www.mendeley.com/research/little-design-upfront-a-design-science-approach-to-integrating-usability-into-Agile-requirements-engineering-1.AZILEN TECHNOLOGY (2011).Significance benefits and role of digital menu in restaurant. [online]. Lastaccessed 31 March 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 andImplementation for Novice Researchers. [online]. The Qualitative Report.13(4), 544-559. Article from NovaSouth Eastern University last accessed 23 March 2012 at: http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR13-4/baxter.pdf.BLOM, Martin (2006). Empirical Evaluations of Semantic Aspects in Software Development. [online]. Lastaccessed 14 April 2012 at: http://kau.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:6529/FULLTEXT01.CHEN, Ting-Han, LIN, Hsin-Hou and YEN, Yi-Di (2011).Mojo iCuisine: The design and implementation of aninteractive restaurant tabletop menu.[online]. Human-computer Interaction, 6763, 185-194. Article fromSpringerLink last accessed 23 April 2012 at:http://www.springerlink.com/content/m307510134401751/fulltext.pdf.CHIRAG (2012).E-Menu. [online]. Last accessed 21 April 2012 at: http://e-menu-chr.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_01_archive.html.CONCEPTIC (no date).iPadeMenu for restaurant. [online]. Last accessed 22 March 2012 at:http://www.emenu-international.com/iPad-menu-for-restaurants.CROWSTON, Kevin, RUBLESKE, Joseph and HOWISON, James (2006).Coordination Theory: A Ten-YearRetrospective. [online]. Last accessed 22 March 2012 at:http://crowston.syr.edu/system/files/CT%20Review%20to%20distribute.pdf.EDEXCEL (2010).Human Computer Interaction.[online]. Last accessed 21 March 2012 at:http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/BTEC%20Nationals%20from%202010/Unit-23-Human-Computer-Interaction.pdf.EMENU USA (2011).eMenu Pictures. [online]. Last accessed 21 April 2012 at:http://www.emenuny.com/pictures.html.EMENUNYY (2012).Restaurant menu software ‘eMenu’ Ready to wave goodbye to traditional paper menus .[online]. Last accessed 1 April 2012 at: http://your-story.org/restaurant-menu-software-emenu-ready-to-wave-goodbye-to-traditional-paper-menus-298620.GANTTHEAD (2010).Rapid Application Development process. [online]. Last accessed 1 April 2012 at:http://www.gantthead.com/content/processes/11306.cfm.GULATI, Anubha and DUBEY, Sanjay Kumar (2012).Critical Analysis on Usability Evaluation Techniques.[online]. International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST), 4(3), 990-997. Article fromIJEST last accessed 21 April 2012 at: http://www.ijest.info/docs/IJEST12-04-03-118.pdf.HANAFIAH, Mastura (2007). Suit-method: A tool for finding suitable software developmentmethodology.University of Malaya. [online]. Last accessed 20 April 2012 at:http://dspace.fsktm.um.edu.my/handle/1812/56.HOFFER, Jeffrey A., GEORGE, Joey F. and VALACICH, Joseph (2008). Modern systems analysis anddesign.5th ed., USA, Pearson Education.Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 12 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal
  13. 13. Mr Traitet Thepbandansuk Student ID: 20043132 Module: RPPHUSSAIN, Zahid, et al. (2012). Practical Usability in XP Software Development Processes. In: The FifthInternational Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions, Spain, 30 January 2012. Valencia,IARIA, 208-217. Article from Think mind last accessed 21 April 2012 at:http://www.thinkmind.org/index.php?view=article&articleid=achi_2012_8_50_20217.JENIE, Renan Prasta, et al. (2011). Designing user interface e-menu based on Android platform. [online].Last accessed 21 March 2012 at: http://ict.binus.edu/metamorph/file/research/Journal%20-%20Android%20Komodo%202.pdf.KEMANUSIAAN, Jurnal (2007). Case study as a research method.[online]. Last accessed 23 March 2012 at:http://eprints.utm.my/8221/1/ZZainal2007-Case_study_as_a_Research.pdf.KENDALL, Kenneth E. and KENDALL, Julie E (2011).Systems analysis and design.8th ed., USA, PearsonEducation.KHAN, AsifIrshad, et al. (2011).Comprehensive study of commonly practiced heavy and light weightsoftware methodologies. [online]. International Journal of Computer Science, 8(4), 441-450. Article fromTechRepublic last accessed 25 April 2012 at: http://www.techrepublic.com/whitepapers/a-comprehensive-study-of-commonly-practiced-heavy-and-light-weight-software-methodologies/3809811/post.KOHLBACHER, Florian (2006). The Use of Qualitative Content Analysis in Case Study Research. [online]. Lastaccessed 21 April 2012 at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/75/153.KRIWACZEK, Frank (2006). HCI: Requirements Analysis. [online]. Last accessed 16 April 2012 at:http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~frk/frank/da/hci/Requirements%20Analysis%20handout.pdf.MAJID, RogayahAbd, et al. (2011). Users’ frustration and HCI in the software development life cycle.[online].International Journal of Information Processing and Management, 2 (1.5), 44-48. Article fromHuman and Sciences Research Center last accessed 21 April 2012 at:http://www.humanpub.org/ijipm/ppl/4_%20IJIPM%20Vol2%20No.1-4.pdf.MESO, Peter, JAIN, Radhika (2006). Agile Software Development: Adaptive Systems Principles and BestPractices. [online].Information Systems Management, 23(3), 19-30. Article from Mendeley last accessed 1April 2012 at: http://www.mendeley.com/research/Agile-software-development-adaptive-systems-principles-best-practices.SEHLHORST, Scott (2006). Ten Requirements Gathering Techniques. [online]. Last accessed 30 March 2012at: http://tynerblain.com/blog/2006/11/21/ten-requirements-gathering-techniques.SLACK, Frances (2012a).Questionnaire design and other quantitative methods, lecture notes distributed inResearch Principles and Practice at room 527 Peak LT, Owen building, Sheffield Hallam University,Sheffieldon 2 March 2012.SLACK, Frances (2012b).Qualitative Techniques, lecture notes distributed in Research Principles and Practiceat room 527 Peak LT, Owen building, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield on 9 March 2012.SOMMERVILLE, Ian (2004). Software Engineering. UK, Addison Wesley.STUDENTWEBSTAFF (2009).Use of E-Menus in the Restaurant Industry. [online]. Last accessed 1 April 2012at: http://www.studentwebstuff.com/mis/showthread.php?t=8049.UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD (no date).Project and dissertation.[online]. Last accessed 19 March 2012 at:http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/softeng/handbook/projects.html.WISKER, Gina (2008). The postgraduate research handbook: Methods in brief.2nd ed., New York, PalgraveMacmillan.YIN, Robert K. (2012).Application of case study research.3rd ed., London, SAGE Publications.Course: Enterprise Systems Professionals Page 13 of 13 Assessment 2 – Individual Research Proposal