Cognitive Ergonomics in Interface Development Evaluation
José Cañas (University of Granada, Spain)
Abstract: Cognitive Ergonomics is a discipline that contributes with its knowledge to construct better machines in the sense of being easier to use by human beings. Cognitive Ergonomists perform a cognitive analysis of interaction to: (1) shorten the time to accomplish interaction tasks; (2) reduce the number of mistakes made by humans; (3) reduce learning time; and (4) improve peoples satisfaction with a system. An appropriate methodology for performing this cognitive analysis of interaction could be based on what I call the "Principle of Mutual Dependency" [Cañas et al 2004]. This principle determines that: (1) The optimal interface functions will be those that fit the human cognitive functions involved in the task; (2) The human cognitive functions that are involved in the task depend on the interface functions; (3) The modification, replacement, or introduction of a new interface function implies the adaptation of the human cognitive functions; (4) The development (e.g., learning) or limitation (e.g., Elderly users) of the human cognitive functions will imply limitations on the possible interface functions. I will describe this principle with examples from research projects in which our research group participates.
Keywords: cognitive ergonomics, interface evaluation