Project: AECL 93 — Inducing Effective Control Strategies Through Ecological Interface Design

Partner: Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. Research (AECL), sponsored by a Connaught Fellowship and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Grant
Dates: January 1993 - May 1994
Participants: Vicente, K. J., Pawlak, W. S.
Description: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the ecological interface design (EID) framework under a more representative set of conditions than previous research on EID. DURESS II, a fully interactive real-time simulation of a thermal-hydraulic process was used as a testbed for the project. Performance with two interfaces was compared: a P+F interface containing physical and functional system representations, and a traditional P interface based solely on a physical representation of the system. Subjects were given 4 weeks of daily practice with one of the two interfaces before their performance on normal events and unfamiliar faults was evaluated. Under normal conditions, there was no performance difference between the two interfaces. However, dual task results indicate that the P interface loads more on verbal resources, whereas the P+F interface loads more on spatial resources. Furthermore, a process tracing analysis of the fault trials showed that the P+F interface led to faster fault detection and more accurate fault diagnosis performance. In addition, a deficiency of the P+F interface was identified, suggesting a need for integrating temporal information with emergent feature displays. These findings have significant practical implications for the design of advanced interfaces for complex systems.
Publications:

View PDF Pawlak, W.S. (1994). Inducing effective control strategies through ecological interface design. (CEL 94-04). University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Pawlak, W. S., and Vicente, K. J., "Ecological interface design: 'Shaping' effective operator control?," Proceedings of the 12th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Volume 4, pp. 387-389, 1994.

View PDF Pawlak, W. S., and Vicente, K. J., "Inducing effective operator control through ecological interface design," International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, vol. 44, pp. 653-688, 1996.

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