When designing information systems, understanding the purpose of the system is vital. For example, the purpose could be for:

  • Education
  • To provide instructions
  • Offer advice or help
  • Selling goods
  • Entertainment

The category of the information system will determine much of the layout and look. Consideration will also be given to how the user will access the system. Types of users include:

  • New users with little or no experience
  • Very experienced users
  • Users of various ages

The device type used to access the system will also have an impact on layout and functionality:

  • Smartphone -small screen, inbuilt input/output devices - requires a touchscreen input and segmented display
  • Tablet - slightly larger screen, inbuilt input/output devices - more information can be displayed at one time
  • Desktop PC - separate monitor, external input devices - more precise control and can display much more information at one time

Discussion between the designers and the client (the person who wants to make the information system) will decide the different features and functionality required, such as:

  • A new user sign-up button
  • A 'subscribe to mailing list' button
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Read-aloud text option