Using Cognitive Engineering for System Design and Evaluation: A Visualization Aid for Stability and Support Operations

Pfautz, J. and Roth, E.

International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics (May, 2006)

Cognitive Engineering offers a principled approach to the design and development of human-centered systems. The Cognitive Engineering process integrates an analysis of the cognitive and collaborative demands of a user engaged in work with an iterative design, implementation, and evaluation approach to developing support tools. In this paper, we illustrate this process in the context of a specific design application: a tool to support military intelligence analyses in Stability and Support Operations (SASO) called the Stability and Support Operations Visualization Aid (SASOVA). As part of the Cognitive Engineering process, we performed a Cognitive Task Analysis that uncovered the sources of complexity in the military intelligence support of SASO and identified opportunities to provide more effective aiding. Working in close collaboration with domain experts, we developed aiding concepts and implemented a rapid prototype of the SASOVA system. We then evaluated the prototype using military analysts with extensive SASO experience as study participants. The results of the evaluation supported the viability of the design concepts while uncovering additional requirements for effective decision-aiding. In this paper, the SASOVA development and evaluation process is used to illustrate the benefits of the Cognitive Engineering process as well as the issues and trade-offs that arise in the Cognitive Engineering of complex systems.

For More Information

To learn more or request a copy of a paper (if available), contact J. Pfautz.

(Please include your name, address, organization, and the paper reference. Requests without this information will not be honored.)