The team manager

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My family and I are big fans of Manchester United, we all have season tickets, and therefore I am always going up to Old Trafford for the home games. Last week, when I was there for a match against Blackburn, I went into the Manchester United Megastore. The shop was full of them teams merchandise, and as big as the shop was, there was nothing there about the team itself and the history of Manchester United. I spoke to the manager and he got me in touch with Alex Ferguson, the team manager. I mentioned to him, my thoughts on the shop and ideas that I had and he asked me to make a presentation on the history of the team.

I agreed and told him I would get back to him with the initial designs. The presentation will include history on the team from the year 1878 up until the present day. There will be information on the different managers through the years, the various cups they have won and the players themselves. It is recognised that the actual users of the system will in fact be the Manchester United fans that are shopping in the megastore. Since they are not easy to get in contact with, Alex Ferguson will be the user as far as this project is concerned.

A booklet of the history of the team could be produced in a word processor and copies issued to all the teams fans that shop in the megastore or there could be a leaflet holder outside the shop after closing. Here, all the information would be available but the leaflets might end up littering the stadium. The cost of production would also be incurred each time the information was updated. A database could be used to create a series of forms that are connected using menus. This would be very good for such a guide as the fans could search through the information available to them by following the menus on each screen.

Databases are very powerful programs, however, and it may seem like an overload to try and use such a system for a problem such as this. A presentation package would be very useful for producing an interactive information system about the team and its history. Several different features can be incorporated to add interest. You can animate different objects on the screen – for example text blocks can fly in from the top of the screen, of pictures can flash. This would be very good for an information display and even catch the attention of those who were not necessarily seeking information at the time.

This type of system would have links to other pages, similar in operation to a website but less cost efficient. Presentation software could also be used to create a self-running presentation by going to the next screen automatically at timed intervals. This would loop back to the start once it came to the end. After consideration of each method I believe that the presentation package offers the best solution to the problem as it provides a great deal of flexibility in design solutions, is cheaper to buy than database software, and would be much easier for Alex Ferguson to maintain once I have finished this project.

Both the kiosk-style presentation, which loops over and over again, and a menu-driven system are better than a simple printed leaflet. Being able to animate screen objects would be a great addition to any information system and is also much easier to implement using presentation software rather than a database. The user would prefer a menu-driven system to make the system interactive, so it will develop this type of software rather than a kiosk -style presentation.

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