Analyzing Code of Conduct

2.1 Analyzing Code of Conduct

1 - Analyzing Code of Conduct introduction. How effectively does this code protect the interests of the public rather than those of IEEE members? What specific words or phrases demonstrate this?

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While only a single page, IEEE code of ethics addresses the public factor within the first three items listed. It does appear to put the needs of the public interest above that of IEE members but the language is lacking in a concrete statement of responsibility. In particular, the first item where it says “the safety, health, and welfare of the public and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment” is especially vague in defining the detail of the categories or what constitutes “promptly” or “endanger.

2. How specific and comprehensive is this code?

IEEE code of ethics lacks specifics, relying instead on general terms such as safety, health, welfare, technical, etc. By not defining and going more specifically into each of these areas, the code is not comprehensive but merely general. While promoting ideas of honest and responsibility is certainly keeping with the concept of business ethics, the actual enforcement is difficult without more specificity.

3. How enforceable is this code? How could it be made more enforceable?

The lack of specific and more comprehensive definitions of the ten points listed in the code of ethics makes it difficult to truly enforce. A loose definition of not endangering the environment or being “honest and realistic in stating claims” creates a situation that would make it difficult to hold those accountable who fail to do so. IEEE needs to expand on their main points, setting specific time-requirements for response and noting which laws or statutes define their standards on such things safety, health, and the environment.

4.1 Demonstrating Comprehension

1. Positive experience – A common factor in all of my positive collaborative experiences has been the breakdown of the project into smaller, specialized areas with each person participating in the overall process from planning to research and, finally, to the end product. In the example I will use here, the group was comprised of four individuals, including myself, and ended in a verbal and visual presentation on a specific world culture. After discussing the topic, we found that each group member had different areas of interest in this culture including such things as history, language, art, and religion. Each person took a specific area and was charged with researching and preparing written notes for the group. This allowed us to take advantage of working individually while also working together. After the notes were prepared, the entire group than provided feedback on each of the topics and as a group we were able to determine what items should be included in the presentation. After this, we once again individually prepared images and written slides for a PowerPoint presentation. One classmate, who was the most practiced with the program, prepared the presentation after the classmate with the most writing experience edited the written slide information. As a final step, the group met once more before the presentation to provide additional input and to approve the final results. As we’d all worked together from the beginning of the project, we were able to quickly come to a consensus. The individual research and writing also allowed our interests to flourish and to be indulged, letting us feel more invested in the project as a whole.

2. Negative experience – Just as the breakdown of the project helped make the previous experience pleasant, it also caused issues with my most negative collaborative project. In a group of three people, looking at the effects of the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education for a political science class, during class we worked to divide the topic into three more specific areas – background, the ruling, and the effects (both immediate and long-term). While I and another classmate researched and took notes on the background and effects, the third classmate did nothing. At the next meeting, we found that he’d neither read the ruling nor had taken any notes. In addition, my classmate whose was looking into the effects of the ruling was looking at mainly general statistics of before and after, as well, as using examples of states which I had not addressed in my background information. The two combined missteps of the group could have been avoided by taking a different approach than the individual research as well as by setting specific guidelines and goals.

11.1 Analyzing a Page Design

1. Describe the use of columns. In what ways do they work well?

This page uses a one column design, which allows for the use of wide margins for the graphics and quotes. There is a lot of space between the different areas of the page, letting the reader easily distinguish between the different types of information which stops it from becoming overwhelming.

2. Describe the text justification. Is it effective?

The overall text justification is consistent, with the top sections margin aligning with that of the bottom. The use of indents of the paragraphs in the lower section of the page distinguish that section as being different from the above and convey the more personal image needed to highlight the story. Last, the horizontal alignment of the text in the box below the Director’s picture is slightly different from that in the lines of the upper section’s paragraphs but this also is effective. It helps to distinguish this section.

3. Describe the use of contrast as a design principle on this page. How effective is it?

Just as the text justification and alignment help to distinguish the different sections of the page, the use of color and font are equally important. First, the upper section shows 3 different font types and colors between the main heading, the paragraph heading and the text. Also, the use of italics for the text beneath the Director’s photo helps to distinguish it as a quote. Second, the bottom section is separated from the top by the blue shadowing of the text box, as well as the use of a different, smaller front. Last, the overall effect of the blue and white color scheme highlights the lack of clutter on the page and makes it visually pleasing.

4. Describe the use of proximity as a design principle on this page. How effective is it?

While there are few graphics on the page, the use of graphics in particular uses proximity to a good effect. The picture of the woman with her Seeing Eye dog is smartly located beside the story on the program. In addition, the proximity of the quote which talks about training to the upper section of the page which also addresses training is especially effective.

To: Insert Professor Name

From: Insert your name

Subject: Exercise 11.3 Evaluating Micron Data Sheet

The Micron data sheet, while simple, proves to be effective in its overall appearance and content. However, in evaluating the design of the document, the strengths and weaknesses of the sheet become apparent almost immediately. Below, I have listed and provided detail into the various strengths and weaknesses of the text.

Strengths:

In using a simple, two column design, the sheet clearly arranges the data in an easy to access design. In addition, the use of font, whereby the headings are a different font from the body and are bolded help to distinguish between the different sections. By capitalizing the primary focus of each section in the heading, with the word “command” left lower-case, the sheet illustrates the continuity of the concept of the different types of command while also highlighting that each paragraph represents a different type. Overall, the simple design not only provides for a clear presentation of the information but also fits with the technical implications of the company.

Weaknesses:

            The primary weakness in the design of this document is the use of white space. The text portion of the document is concentrated in the upper portion of the page, leaving a blank space of a couple inches at the bottom. This makes the text of the document appear crowded.

In conclusion, I recommend a better use of the white-space at the end of the document through a wide spacing between the headings and the corresponding text. In doing so, the document will better utilize the simplicity inherent to the strengths of this design and help to make the information, if not more accessible to the layman than easier to approach.

Exercise 11.4 – Internet Exercise, Evaluating 3 Manufacturers Websites

            I chose to concentrate this comparison on manufacturers of batteries for automotives, boats, and other mobile devices. The manufacturers and their websites are,

1) Optima Batteries – http://www.optimabatteries.com/home.php

2) Deka Batteries – http://www.dekabatteries.com/

3) Trojan Battery Co. – http://www.trojanbattery.com/

I’ve chosen to compare the navigability of the overall sites, which combine both design and accessibility. All three of the sites a navigated using a navigation bar at the top of the webpage, in each case this bar is accessible from all portions of the site and makes it simple to go from one section of the sites to another. Deka Batteries website is the most effective overall in navigation. While each of the sites has this navigation bar, Deka makes the best use of it to detail products, policies, and company history. Trojan is likely the least effective, while it provides much of the information provided on Deka and Optima’s sites, it does not provide the clear organization present in the other two.

12.1 Evaluating Graphics in Building Wealth: A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your Financial Future

Graphic 1, p. 1: The first major graphic encountered in the main body of the brochure effectively demonstrates the principles of the brochure, including the need to control debt, budget & save, and save & invest, which are written on three different colorful blocks. However, the graphic itself is misleading in the blocks resting on what appears to be a puddle with the words “build wealth.” The graphics interrupt the automatic connection meant to be made by balancing the blocks over “build wealth.” The graphic should be informing the reader that the blocks represent ways in which to build wealth but in placing the “build wealth” section below, the graphic becomes overall ineffective. Instead of the current placement of the blocks and the “build wealth” section, the blocks should be stacked together and unified, with the words “build wealth” either being inserted as just a heading or in a unifying graphics such as a ribbon tied around the individual blocks.

Graphic 2, p. 11: The investment period succeeds in being effective for the same reason which undermines graphic 1. The pyramid illustrates the various components of personal finance and general financial risks and timelines. In using the pyramid, the graphic is tapping into a common image with both a foundation and epoch to show the broad basis and various components of financial security. The arrows to the side of the period correspond to the risks their highlighting, with the “increasing risks” being illustrated with an arrow pointing to the top of the period and the “decreasing risks” properly pointing to the bottom.

Graphic 3, p. 25, 26, and 27: Though there are different graphics on each of these pages, they are similar both in intent and clarity in demonstrating the information to the intended audience. In discussing the different types of insurance, the graphics of the car, stethoscope, and wheelchair present clear and effective representations of auto, health, and disability insurance. Each of these graphics is easily relatable to the subject matter and the placement beside each individual section of text allows the reader to easily find where these types of insurance are discussed.

Exercise 12.4

This graph appears to be lacking pertinent information, primarily what the numbers and categories represent. While the breakdown by year between such categories as “Civil Engineering,” “Religion,” etc. provide some information, the lack of a reference to the overall intent of these categories as well as whether the numbers in each column represent their actual face value of being the hundreds or, more importantly whether these numbers represent a population, enrollment, or other topic makes this graph ineffective.
While as with graph A there is no clear wording to indicate that the graph is measuring enlistment in the merchant marines, the use of the graphic of a sailor to note on the graph is helpful in allowing the viewer to make the assumption that enlistment is the primary measurement on this graph. While this graphic, as well as the listing of year and numbers by the thousand, is effective in allowing for this assumption, it is less effective because it lacks a clear definition of each section. Also, as with graph A, there is nothing to indicate if the numbers should be accepted at face value or if it every 1,000 is representative of 10,000, 100,000, etc.
The pie graph lacks effectiveness due to the fact that it does not give a clear understanding of how much is represented by the pie graph. Also, while we can see that each section is clearly equal to the others, there is nothing to indicate the percentage or actual value of each section. To revise, I would either establish the overall value of the chart as a whole, making it possible for the viewer to understand that if the value of the graph were $700,000 than each of the seven sections would represent $100,000 worth of expenses. Another way to revise the graph would be to show in each section the dollar amount this section represents. For instance, in the section for “salaries” it would be simple to insert $100,000 into the empty space.
The graph is very effective in illustrating the sometimes broad differences in cost between the different computer components. However, as with graphs A & B, the lack of a definition for the amounts represented by the numbers along the vertical line of the graph do not tell the viewer whether they should be taken at face value or are representative of larger denomination. To revise, I would indicate clearly the value placed on each number in the vertical column. This would allow for an even greater understanding of the actual cost variations between the components.

Exercise 12.5

            Graph 3 is the most effective in representing the 2008 quarterly sales for Series 1 & 2 because unlike the graphs 1 and 2, graph 3 is a single dimension that allows for clearer reading of the information. Graphs 1 and 2 utilize two dimensions and the offset of the lines needed to present this effect make it difficult to clearly correlate the line to its dollar value. In particular, graph 1 illustrates this as the placement of the lines one in front of the other, makes it hard to determine the value of the blue line. The values on graph 2 are difficult to read due to the stacked quality of the different colored lines. Graph 1 could be made better by showing a narrower range of value on the vertical edge of the graph, if not with numbers than with a notch to indicate the middle space between the preceding number and the next.

 

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