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

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

An Extensible Architecture to Support the Struc
turing and the Efficient Exploitation of
Ergonomics Rules

Christelle Farenc, Philippe Palanque
L.I.H.S., Université Toulouse I, Place A. France, Toulouse, France.
Tel: +33 - 05 61.63.35.88, E-mail: {farenc, palangue}@univ-tlse 1.fr


1
Introduction

Incorporating Human Factors in the development life cycle of interactive system has been the corner stone of human computer interaction research for many years. One possible way for such an incorporation is an explicit use of Human Factors expressed in terms of ergonomic rules. These ergonomic rules (also called guidelines, human-computer interaction principles, design rules or maxims) correspond to the explanation of the ergonomic knowledge dedicated to interactive systems.

An ergonomic rule can be considered as a principle that has to be taken into account for the building or the evaluation of user interfaces (UI) in order to respect cognitive capabilities of users. The scope of these principles is usually not general and vary according to the "context of use" that can be as different as tasks, user models, user environment (organizational aspects), etc.

Ergonomic rules are supposed to help developers to build UI respecting human factor principles. Unfortunately, studies carried out with designers show that guidelines are difficult to apply at design time ( Smith 1988), ( De Souza 1990). The difficulties encountered by designers is mainly due to the structuring of the guidelines and the way they are formulated. Indeed, most of the developers consider a UI in terms of input/output whatever the development methodology used, and thus need to have recommendations structured according to the components used for building the UI. On the opposite, ergonomic rules are expressed in terms of ergonomic criteria, cognitive principles, etc. This discrepancy between ergonomic knowledge expression and developers' needs is at the basis of difficulties found by developers in order to embed this knowledge in

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