Multimedia Design Coursework

Multimedia Design Coursework.

Company Overview.

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The company John MILOPOYLOS LTD was created in 1984 in order to provide the activities in the field of imports. The company is currently involved in the imports of Swiss ice-creams MOVENPICK. It is both the importer of the production of the Swiss company and its representative.

All of the production which MOVENPICK offers are of very high-quality, and produced from the best components, which attracts the public. The production falls into the category of “Premium ice-cream” which combines both the highest quality and the relevant pricing strategy. Therefore, the target segment of the market for the company is made of customers with a high income level. The distribution of the company is currently done at a very high level. The major consumers of the production include hotels, restaurants and cruiser ships, as well as the retail market in certain supermarkets. MOVENPICK production also includes coffee, which is also being distributed through the same channels.

The company offers the following number of products:

oGingerbread (with chocolate and small pieces of brownies);

oFig&Date (with fig flavor);

oLemon ice-cream (with small pieces of lemon);

oTiramisu (with flavor of coffee);

oJamaica ice-cream with chocolate chips;

oVanilla ice-cream (with vanilla flavor);

oMellon ice-cream (with Mellon flavor);

oVanilla brownies (vanilla with small pieces of brownies).

The range of the products offered by the company is very large; therefore it is very important it distributes the production efficiently among consumers. Judging from the fact that the production is aimed at consumers with high income level, it is very important for MILOPOYLOS LTD to choose an efficient advertising policy and apply modern techniques of attracting customers. Currently, the company does not have any electronic shop, but it would be very helpful for its promotion and increase of sales. Distribution through the well-established channels which the company currently has is quiet efficient, but in order to attract other customers, particularly new categories of customers, it is necessary to change the company’s current policy a little bit.

At present, the target group of customers for the company is the group of middle-ages people who have high incomes and therefore can afford premium ice-cream and other types of products which the company offers. Those people buy the company’s production whenever they attend restaurants or on cruise ships. However, this group of customers is not going to increase with years but only get smaller. For the company’s profits to increase, it is necessary to attract a new group of consumers- young people. Even though premium ice-cream is very expensive and many young people cannot afford it, so they will prefer cheaper brands, there are many young people who earn good money. They will be able to buy the company’s production if it promotes the production while making the emphasize on its quality in order to attract the target group.

Reasons for launching an electronic shop.

The best way to promote production to this target group is by launching an electronic shop. Young people spend decent time in internet; therefore they will get interested in the production which MILOPOYLOS LTD offers. Many companies have started using electronic shops because it is very efficient for consumers. “The World Wide Web (henceforth referred to as the web) is rapidly becoming the preferred method for the dissemination of information by corporations today. Everything from marketing/sales literature to research to product support material is being published on the web. Along with this trend is the increasing presence of electronic commerce (e-commerce) applications on the web.” (Hans-Jörg, Ziegler, 1999, p.78).

Another argument for the creation of the electronic shop is that the company spends very much money on advertising in printed editions which does not result in much success. Even though plenty of money is spent on such advertisements, it has been noticed that the network of customers does not increase radically. On the basis of these results, it has been concluded that other methods of advertising need to be used, such as advertising on the web in the electronic shop. Online shop is a very good solution of the problems which MILOPOYLOS LTD has. “There are now several products on the market designed specifically to let small companies with little Internet experience and limited resources tap into the growing volume of sales taking place on the Net. Once you’ve established that your audience is on the Net, the only prerequisite for getting a piece of that action is having a Web site equipped for e-commerce.” (Parrish, 1998, p.36).

Major goals of electronic shop creation.

The creation of the electronic shop requires taking some serious steps, including the development of its policy, involving designers into the process and finally establishing the shop. The major goals of the electronic shop B2B establishment for the company MILOPOYLOS LTD are the following:

oPublicity and projection in more likely customers. Through the website the company will be advertised 24 hours a day.

oImprovement of provided service via most efficient service of customer. All of the orders will be delivered in the shortest period of time. There will be close monitoring of all the orders done through the website.

oEnlargement of Network of sales. Many more customers are going to find out about the production which MILOPOYLOS LTD offers, including those who live in the parts of the country where there is no MILOPOYLOS LTD network.

oIn order to inform the customers about available products, about the increase of their variety and quality;

oIn order to be informed about customers needs and interests and their differences according to the group to which they belong;

oReduction of the cost of publicity and of printing the list of products;

oProfits increase due to the increase of the number of customers.

Advantages of electronic shop creation.

The project of the electronic shop establishment is going to give many advantages to such groups as MILOPOYLOS LTD management, employees, consumers, partners, and suppliers. The management and employees of the company are going to benefit from the establishment of the electronic shop because the company will increase its sales rapidly, and their salaries are going to increase. Consumers will also get advantages because they will be able to order their favorite products online. Consumers will get a chance to say what changes in the products they would prefer for them to be more appealing to their tastes. Through the electronic shop, the company can start maintaining close relations with its customers. Partners who own MILOPOYLOS LTD will benefit greatly because the value of their shares will increase rapidly. Suppliers of the company are also going to obtain many advantages because they will distribute their production through MILOPOYLOS LTD much faster than in the past.

The success of the electronic shop will be measured through the increase of sales of the company. Besides, it will also be possible to determine the groups of customers which consume the production offered by MILOPOYLOS LTD. According to the plan of the project, the structure of consumers needs to change as the result of the electronic shop establishment. A large number of young people have to become consumers of the company due to efficient advertising and distribution system. Another way how efficiency can be measured is through the changes in profitability of the company. According to the plan, costs of advertising are going to decrease as the result of online advertising instead of advertising in print editions. Due to the increase of sales and decrease of costs, profits of the company MILOPOYLOS LTD are supposed to increase greatly. As long as this goal is achieved, the project will be very efficient.

Project evaluation review technique.

The first step of launching the electronic shop is determining the marketing policy which is going to be reflected through the shop. “If you’re thinking about selling via the Web, make sure you enlist the four Ps,” advises Kim T. Folsom, president and CEO of The Business Source Technology Solutions Inc. (TBSTS), a San Diego-based Internet commerce provider. “Good Product, great Prices, Placement materials (efficient modes of distribution such as mail order or retail) and Promotion (communicating your products’ value to the Netizens most likely to purchase them).” (Parrish, 1998, p.36). The marketing mix applied by MILOPOYLOS LTD in this case is the best service and quality for relevant price.

In order to make the design process of the electronic shop the most efficient, it is necessary to apply some techniques which are widely used in the world. “One can view the process as a project evaluation review technique (PERT) diagram, starting with broad general decisions by a centralized product planning group and branching out to a multitude of nodes at which engineers are making microscopic decisions about tiny parts of the car. At each successive stage, there is a hand-off of specifications from the previous stage, and communication across branches is minimal.” (Habich, 1998, p.241). With the help of PERT techniques, it is possible to make sure that all of the stages of the project, no matter how insignificant they are, are not neglected. Therefore, the best results are going to be obtained at the end of the process.

Diagram 1. Project Evaluation Review Technique.

In diagram 1, PERT technique for the creation of the electronic shop is shown starting with the creation of the plan for the shop set-up and ending with the delivery of the shop by engineers. The electronic shop creation is being done in 9 steps. The project delivery is going to take 109 days which is approximately 3 months. All of the mentioned steps are equally important.

Electronic Shop Design.

The choice of the design for the project is a very challenging task. “A user can be browsing marketing literature on the latest consumer product and with just a click on a link they can be interacting with a stock trading system all within the same browser interface. With this blending of what we call web publishing, the presentation of material for informative purposes, and web applications, the interactive manipulation of data that may or may not be persistent, the interface designer is faced with many new challenges” (Hans-Jörg, Ziegler, 1999, p.78). The electronic shop needs to have the interface which will appeal to the interests of the people looking at it on Internet and be very convenient for their use. Therefore, the major features of the interface are going to be simplicity and emphasize on the demonstration of the products’ characteristics and attractive feature.

The development of the MILOPOYLOS LTD electronic shop is based on the principal of the secondary role of interface after the services which it is offering. The interface in this electronic shop is only the way to bring information to the customer. It is organized in such a way that maximum flexibility is given to the customer when looking for products. No unnecessary information is given for maximum convenience. The interface of the electronic shop is represented in the Chart 1.

This approach is very useful in the current situation in the market. In the present condition of multimedia systems, substance is not able to function separately from the software

 

Chart 1. The interface of the electronic shop.

technique for navigating and reaching the subject. This means that a software interface serves as a crucial liaison among the consumer and the content which he would like to become familiar with. It is very important for MILOPOYLOS LTD electronic shop to reduce cognitive burden for software applications by making instruments connected to the software interface. Just as software application is an instrument of giving information to the consumer, the multimedia applications also serve as a means of giving the message to the customer who attends the electronic workshop.

The interface of the company is built in such a way that people, who are acquainted with the company’s production, are able to obtain additional information about its services. Those who have never come across the proposed brand will also be able to get enough information about it. The aim of this design of the MILOPOYLOS LTD electronic shop is to make a “multi-layered or leveled multimedia system that allows seeking out different paths that best correspond to their levels of previous knowledge, as well as their dynamically changing levels of knowledge and understanding gained as they proceed through the multimedia product.” (Grace-Martin, 2001, p.97).

The reason of why multimedia design should be used in this project is that it gives the message to the customers at the highest level of efficiency. People are able to perceive all of the features of products due visual effects. Multimedia design “describes a new application-oriented technology that is based on the multisensory nature of humans and the evolving ability of computers to convey diverse types of information. Fundamental to this technology is the ability to manipulate digital forms of audio and video information in the realm of the computer.” (Little, 1991, p.65).

The suggested interface lets the consumers to have some sort of communication with the employees of the company MILOPOYLOS LTD and share their opinions. The availability of communication on different levels is particularly important for the success of the project. It is clear that “broadening of responsibilities- adding communication skills and business knowledge to technical development skills- reduces the number of communication layers between end users and developers, and can result in a more efficient, productive and successful design and development process. It also requires increased user participation throughout the process.” (Malone, 1996, p.31).

Multimedia applications applied in the electronic shop for the company MILOPOYLOS LTD are going to let the users to read the text about the products being offered, see the video about the stores being opened, hearing the audio with the information about the store. It is particularly necessary to combine all of the mentioned three effects because this is the only way to attract the attention of the audience. “Since people learn more readily when exposed to information in several modes, multimedia has natural applications in presentations, education, advertising and training. As humans, we are much better at absorbing information visually than at scanning columns of numbers or reading pages of print. Thus, multimedia, this most modern of technologies, is based on our most primordial abilities.” (McQuillan, 1991, p.74).

In the electronic shop for MILOPOYLOS LTD, the following elements are going to be applied for the development (chart 2): multimedia scripting, video capture, and editing and presentation products. The design of images of products offered by the company in the website need to be done with the help of any of the following programs: Photoshop LE, Photoshop Elements 2.0, Paint Shop Pro, PhotoImpact or others. They all offer a creative approach to the design of the images.

Chart 2. Development platform of the project.

Electronic shop set-up constraints.

The use of the mentioned elements is crucial for the development of the electronic shop but there can be noticed some constraints for their application, for example bandwidth/server constraints. They need to be analyzed very carefully and planned, particularly regarding the allocation of resources. There are currently different points of view on the allocation of financial resources for the mentioned items. Some specialists argue that “disk-storage and memory are going to continue to be cheaper, and processing’s “bang-per-buck” will double every 18 or so months.” (Guruge, 1994, p.21). Recently there have been expressed opinions about the absence of all kinds of constraints on the bandwidth. It has been argued that “the process of applications development and distribution, which traditionally has drained productivity and has been a major obstacle hindering business growth, is becoming more streamlined. This change reflects the fact that applications, developers no longer feel constrained by the cost of bandwidth, memory or disk storage.” (Guruge, 1994, p.21).

Despite this positive tendency, there are some bandwidth and server constraints for the MILOPOYLOS LTD electronic shop. Those constraints are connected with the number of emails and orders which will be received after the electronic shop gets launched and which will require fast processing. If the possibilities of the software used in the development are not able to support a large number of orders, it will limit the number of potential customers. There have been many examples of how bandwidth and server limitations have caused problems. “Despite the efficiency of these protocols, however, SNA/SDLC WAN networks are notorious for their unused bandwidth. Interactive traffic between 3270 terminals and legacy applications account for the bulk of SNA WAN traffic. This traffic is bursty by nature, and even on a multi-dropped line it is rare for the line to be saturated for prolonged periods of time. Idle poll sequences, which do not result in any data transfers, also frequently occur, and whenever they do, bandwidth gets consumed” (Guruge, 1994, p.21).

Security of the electronic shop.

There are also some issues of security which have to be analyzed in the project development. The company is not obliged to add the items connected with security into the budget, but they can be regarded as possible elements as well. No decent customers are going to leave the information about themselves in the website unless there is decent security in it. Therefore, MILOPOYLOS LTD needs to launch an efficient security system to attract such customers.

There are two possible solutions. “ViaStore is a hassle-free solution. It’s a service provided by ViaWeb that lets business owners advertise and sell products on their own Web site, which ViaWeb will host, upgrade and keep secure. The service costs $100 per month for up to 50 products, and the fee for 1,000 or more products starts at $300.” (Parrish, 1998, p.37). As we can see, ViaStore requires large service fees each month. “Another option is to enlist an Internet service provider (ISP) to run your site for you. ISPs typically work with e-commerce software vendors like iCat and Mercantec, two market leaders, to create and host sites for a fee. You pay an initial fee for use of die software, sometimes as much as $1,500, and a smaller monthly licensing fee for the service, about $100.” (Parrish, 1998, p.37). This option is more reliable and it is worth accepting for the company.

Software for electronic shop launching.

In order to post the website of the MILOPOYLOS LTD, it is necessary to apply such a program as Adobe’s Pagemill 3.0 which approximately costs £50. This program contains the icon of the shopping cart. By using the electronic shop of the company, users are able to add those products which they like to their shopping cart and place the orders in such a way. Users usually like such kind of interface which gives them a feeling that they are actually shopping in the store. The program contains a hyperlink to the ICentral’s ShopSite Manager software which performs the action. The company will need to pay about £50 every month for the support of the transactions.

It is also possible to use such a program as Domino Merchant 2.0 Server Pack by Lotus. It is more expensive than the previous product but it offers many more functions for the user. The company can choose to purchase this software pack for maximum convenience. It is going to cost £1,400. This kind of software is very useful for the company. “Merchant installs from a Web browser or Notes client and comes with several customizable templates that let users build their Web sites by responding to a series of intuitive prompts. Merchant’s Site Creator feature has templates for building your own product catalogs that can be personalized with logos and original product literature, and then viewed by online shoppers.” (Parrish, 1998, p.37).

The interface which can be given to the electronic shop with the help of Merchant is very advanced. It can incorporate very distinguished design and graphics. Besides, consumers are able to check the status of their purchases on the website. In order to make sure Merchant is successfully installed, it is necessary for the company to have a server running Lotus Notes. Currently the company has a different server; therefore it is necessary to make sure the new software is installed. This type of software requires very high-skilled engineers to install it and maintain the work of the server. “David Marshak, vice president and senior consultant with Boston-based Patricia Seybold Group, a management technology consulting company, advises: “You’d do well to have someone [on staff] trained oil Lotus Notes. In addition, you might need a Web master to manage the site depending on the level of traffic it generates.”

There are also opportunities to install different types of software, for example Microsoft Site Server 3.0 or virtual malls and ISPs. However, they have some disadvantages. For example, Bruce Crosley, president of LANminds in Hampshire, New Hampshire, marks that “the lower-end options don’t give you the same flexibility as Merchant and other high-end products. For example, you could create a site for fixed merchandise like clothing, prepackaged greeting cards and fine china with no problem. But selling customizable merchandise like computers and business cards wouldn’t work because the low-end solutions don’t have the ability to accept requests for custom orders.”

That is why, in our opinion, it is necessary to install Domino Merchant 2.0 Server Pack by Lotus for £1,400. As it was explained above, it offers the most advantages for the company. So, it is beneficial for the company to buy this kind of software. In addition to it, the company will need to make sure it has well-trained specialists to provide the support for the software. Some training will need to be organized in the company to ensure that.

 

Budget and organization of the project.

The budget of the project is very important to determine. Most companies make a choice between opening their own electronic shop and providing all of the maintenance and control for it, while others (who have limited budget) can simply sign on e-commerce services. “Your choice should be dictated by your existing technology and level of technical proficiency. For example, companies that would prefer not to get involved with HTML coding or any part of Web site management can outsource the entire process by signing on to a virtual mall or e-commerce hosting service.” (Parrish, 1998, p.36). In the case of MILOPOYLOS LTD electronic shop, it is better for the company to launch its own electronic shop and provide all of the support for it. There are currently some specialists working for the company who have experience in launching electronic stores, therefore their services can be very helpful.

The budget of the project is going to consist of the following items:

oSetup of the electronic shop (£650);

odesign of the electronic shop (£600);

omaintenance of the electronic shop (£50 per month);

opurchase of hardware and software for the shop (£2000);

oconversion of order forms and catalogues into the information available on the webpage in the electronic form (£270);

orequirements analysis (£270);

otraining and mentoring connected with the maintenance of the store (£1000).

The total cost of the set up for the electronic shop for MILOPOYLOS LTD is £4,840. This cost does not include the per-hour wages of engineers involved in the project. Due to the high skills of the engineers, they will require wages of £30 per hour. There is a possibility to lower the expenses on the setup of the store through neglecting some of the items marked in the budget. For example, training connected with the maintenance of the store is very costly, and those expenses can be decreased greatly by providing less sophisticated training. The purchase of hardware and software for the store also make large expenses for the company. Those expenses can be decreased through the purchase of cheaper equipment and making the decision about using fewer multimedia applications. However, the results which the company expects cannot be achieved if all of the mentioned costs are lowered. Therefore, in order to achieve maximum efficiency of the project, it is necessary to channel all of the mentioned financial resources into its development.

The general distribution of functions for the project is represented in the chart 3.

Chart 3. Organizational structure of personnel involved in the project.

The project manager is in charge of general organizational issues. Financial division needs to ensure the budget is carried out with the consideration of available resources. Engineers are in charge of the technical side of electronic shop setup. Designers are required to carry out the interface of the electronic shop. Training instructor is in charge of training for employees in the company connected with the use of new technologies.

 

 

Bibliography.

1.      Hans-Jörg Bullinger, Ziegler Jürgen. Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999

2.      Derba Matthew, Siegel Joel G.  Wireless Networks: Connectivity without Constraints. Contributors: Journal Title: The CPA Journal. Volume: 73. Issue: 7. Publication Year: 2003.

3.      Grace-Martin Michael. How to Design Educational Multimedia: A “Loaded” Question. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. Volume: 10. Issue: 4. Publication Year: 2001.

4.      Guruge Anura. Networking While Bandwidth Is Not Free. Business Communications Review. Volume: 24. Issue: 6. Publication Date: June 1994

5.      Habich Elizabeth Chamberlain. Moving Library Collections: A Management Handbook. Greenwood Press, 1998

6.      Little Thomas D.C. Multimedia as a Network Technology. Business Communications Review. Volume: 21. Issue: 5. Publication Date: May 1991.

7.      Malone Ian. Getting Real about Client-Server Design. Business Communications Review. Volume: 26. Issue: 1. Publication Date: January 1996.

8.      Mcquillan John. Business Communications Review. Volume: 21. Issue: 11. Publication Date: November 1991.

9.      Najjar Lawrence J. Publication Information Principles of Educational Multimedia User Interface Design. Human Factors. Volume: 40. Issue: 2. Publication Year: 1998.

10.  Parrish Deidra-Ann. Technology for Business: Set Up Shop on the Web. Black Enterprise. Volume: 29. Issue: 1. Publication Date: August 1998

11.  Perey Christine. Multimedia Moving toward the Mainstream. Business Communications Review. Volume: 25. Issue: 4. Publication Date: April 1995.

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