Susan Laflin's Projects.

Project Number 1. An Interactive Guide to an Historic Town or City.

This topic may be chosen by several students simultaneously provided each one chooses a different town and possibly also a different group of users with different specialist needs.

This project involves considering the needs of tourists wishing to visit and historic town or city. There are a number of aspects which could be included and you should select some of these. You may wish to consider the historical sites and any special events to be held; you may wish to provide information about transport within as well as to and from the town or city and information about places of interest nearby; you may wish to include details of accommodation and eating places and possibly design an online booking system. You should include some means of updating the information, either by staff of an Information centre or by the individual hotels, restaurants etc. Most of these will require interaction with some form of database.

There are four questions which you will need to get clear in your own mind before you start the project and you will also need to discuss them in your dissertation:

1. Who are the intended users of your system?
It is a good idea to be more restrictive than just a vague, general concept such as "tourists".

2. What are their needs?
If you have a specific group in mind, then you can analyse their needs in more detail

3. How can I design a database to contain the relevant information?
You will probably need about 100 records spread across three or four tables to demonstrate the full potential of your database.

4. How can I design an interface for these users?
The interface will introduce the users to the system and provide choices from the available information based on the replies of the users. This information may need to use queries from several tables at the same time, thus demonstrating your understanding of relational databases.

If you have defined a specific group of users, then you can demonstrate your ability to analyse their needs and design suitable software to meet these needs.This allows you to show off your competance as a Software Engineer and makes it possible for you to produce a successful project, worthy of a high mark.