Formalizing Ecological Display Development: The Form Comparison Matrix

Kilgore, R.

Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Baltimore, MD (October 2007).

Combined, the Ecological Interface Design (EID) and Cognitive Work Analysis (CWA) frameworks foster the development of complex system interfaces that capitalize on human perceptive capabilities to support skill-, rule- and knowledge-based control behavior. While numerous examples of compelling ecological display designs exist, many practitioners have experienced difficulty in transforming the nested behavior-shaping constraints identified by CWA into novel EID display forms. We introduce the Form Comparison Matrix (FCM) as a tool to further structure EID design efforts by leveraging the outputs of CWA activities. Drawing upon the familiar DURESS mass balance display form as an example, we discuss typical challenges of ecological display development and present a practical application of the FCM to support evaluation of competing ecological design alternatives. This article is intended to stimulate discussion of methods and tools for further formalizing EID processes and to serve as a methodological example for future EID practitioners

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