Assessing the Fitness of Information Supply and Demand during User Interface Design
Authors: Christian Denker, Florian Fortmann, Marie Christin Ostendorp, Axel Hahn
Abstract: User interface design of nowadays safety-critical human-machine systems has a significant impact on human operator situation awareness (SA). SA is composed of three levels including the perception (level 1), comprehension (level 2) and projection (level 3) of information. A significant part of accidents can be attributed to level 1 error. This means that human operators have problems to satisfy their information demand with supplied information during task performance. While thoroughly checking user interface designs for information gaps is a standard in professional system design it is a time consuming and error prone process. In this paper we introduce an information gap model, which allows investigation of inconsistencies between information supply and demand. We present a method to detect information gaps and assess the fitness between information supply and demand. The method can be executed semi-automatically. We show the method’s implementation into an integrated system modelling environment and demonstrate the application with an autopilot component in a course change task on a ship bridge. We performed an expert evaluation with maritime system engineers and a human factors ergonomist to estimate the applicability, benefits and shortcomings of the method. Overall, the evaluation results are promising and warrant further research of the method.
Keywords: Information Gap, Situation Awareness, Information Supply and Demand, User Interface
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