Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces - Vol. 1

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

Software Tool for the Use of Human Factors
Engineering Guidelines to Conduct Control
Room Evaluations

John M. O'Hara and William S. Brown
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Department of Advanced Technology
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973
E-mail: ohara@bnl.gov, brown@bn.gov


1
Introduction

User interfaces for complex systems employ technologies that can have significant implications for human performance and system safety. To achieve safe and efficient system operation, human system interfaces (HSIs) must be evaluated to ensure that operator performance and reliability are appropriately supported.

One of the primary methods used to evaluate HSIs is the use of human factors engineering (HFE) guidelines. The Human System Interface Design Review Guideline ( O'Hara, Brown, Stubler, Wachtel, and Persensky, 1996) was developed to support such evaluations. The objective of the HSI evaluation is to verify that the HSI components (e.g., alarms, displays, and controls) will support crew tasks and are designed according to accepted HFE principles.

A method was developed to establish guidance with high internal and external validity ( O'Hara, Brown, and Nasta, 1996). Internal validity is the degree to which the individual guidelines are based on an auditable technical basis. The technical basis is the information upon which the guideline is established and justified. External validity is the degree to which the guidelines are subjected to independent peer review. Peer review is a good method of screening guidelines for conformance to accepted HFE practices and for evaluating them in the context of the operational experience of HSIs in real systems. Using the method, HFE guidelines were developed to address both advanced and conventional HSIs. The general contents of the individual sections of the guidelines are described below.

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