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1.2) Social andEthical Design
• Information systems should be designed to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of both people and machines.• Machine-centred systems are designed to simplify what the computers must do at the expense of the user.• They are usually powerful tools but confusing to use and require a lot of training.
• Human-centred systems are those that let participants work effectively without having to struggle with the technology.• Most systems that are used today are more user-friendly than in the past.• User-friendly systems are characterised by:
• prompts in non-technical terms• similar appearance and structure of different applications• menu structure is logical and simple to follow• provides ‘beginner’ and ‘advanced’ options• allows work to be imported easily• regularly saves so less chance of lost work
• When systems are being designed it is important to consider the health and safety issues and the nature of work.• The relationship between people and their work environment is called ergonomics.• Things to be considered with ergonomics and information systems include:
• furniture – chairs, tables, keyboards, workstations, monitor, etc.• lighting – reduced glare, evenness• climate – temperature and o o humidity (20 C – 23 C; 30% - 70%)• air quality – removal of particle s and ozone• noise – should be < 55 dB
• New systems need to increase work satisfaction and decrease stress.• Stress could result from : • an increased workload • inadequate job design • lack of social interaction • concerns about job security• Ethics is a set of beliefs we hold about what is right and wrong.
• Ethical issues involving the use of information systems include: • environmental damage • equity and access • invasion of privacy • freedom of information • computer crime • copyright
• Information systems can both reduce and increase pollution.• Decreased pollution comes from: • decreased communication transport • tele-commuting reducing traffic • country access to electronic services reducing crowding & overpopulation
• Increased pollution comes from: • toxic chemicals in computer manufacturing • increased use of fossil fuels to power devices• Equity concerns equal rights for all.• I.T. has the potential to give many people equal access to education, employment, medical treatment and many other benefits.
• It can also overcome differences in race, sex, location and disability.• However, people may be disadvantaged because they do not have access due to costs or technology fears.• This lack of access may lead to other inequities because a lot of things are being computerised these days, e.g. bill paying.