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Socio-cognitive design The design of computer technology to

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									Socio-cognitive
Engineering
An approach to the design and
deployment of usable, useful and
enjoyable socio-technical systems
Socio-technical system
An combination of people and interactive technology,
  e.g.:
• An engineer inspecting a plane using a wearable
  computer
• Students studying a distance learning course on the
  Web
• People meeting by videoconference
The Problem
How to design successful technologies that
support people in everyday, cognitively
demanding, activities, e.g.
   managing knowledge,
   communicating at a distance,
   organising work,
   learning,
   shopping,
   interactive entertainment
If the telephone were designed
nowadays it would…
• have a Windows™ interface
• be controlled by a mouse
• require a complex series of operations to
  make each call
• be packed with unnecessary features
• be almost unusable
A badly designed socio-
technical system can…
• Make life more complex and frustrating
    Telephone call centres
• Put people off using a new type of technology
    Camera phones
• Waste money
    Computerisation of the Inland Revenue, cost £2.4 billion -
     £1 billion higher than estimated
• Kill people
    USS Vincennes (293 deaths)
    London Ambulance Service (unknown)
    Therac-25 radiation therapy (3 deaths)
Why are systems so bad?
• Because they are badly designed
   “We can create powerful and pleasurable software-
    based products by the simple expedient of designing our
    computer-based products before we build them” Alan
    Cooper, The Inmates are Running the Asylum.

• Because they are developed by technologists
  rather than for users
• Because they are not based on a deep
  understanding of how people interact
• Because they do not use a human-centred design
  method
The Product Triangle (Cooper)




           Product
The goals of human-centred
system design
The system must be:
• usable
• useful
• enjoyable
• cost effective
Need to design, implement, deploy and
evaluate to these goals
‘Complex’ does not necessarily
mean ‘unusable’…
Example Design Brief

Design a controller for the Centre for
Educational Technology and Distance
Learning
                  Local                    Local
                 Lecture                Discussion



           Video Conference          Video Conference
               Lecture                  Discussion




                                            Engineering
           Shutdown room
                                             Controls


15.12.99                      Home                        16:44
What it is
versus
what people want to do
‘Complex’ does
not necessarily
mean
‘unusable’…
… and ‘simple’
does not
necessarily mean
‘usable’.
An unusable
water machine!
HOT WATER:-
PRESS & HOLD HOT BUTTON,
THEN PRESS THE DISPENSE BUTTON
Design approaches

• Market-driven
• User-centred
• Human-centred
Market-driven design
Develop technology to fit the market
Advantages:
  –sell on features
Problems:
  –Feature bloat
  –Diminishing returns
  –Problems of usability, compatibility, training,
   maintenance
Results:
  –traditional technology plus features
% of Wordprocessor Features Used by Professional Writers
         Word count                                  66

      Spell checkers                            55

        Style sheets                            53

           Thesauri                        42

          Databases                   30

           Indexing              25                           Ever use

         Footnoting             21

         Notebooks         17

           Outliners       15
       Bibliographic
         software      7
                                            From a survey by Jane Dorner
   Grammar checkers    6
Market-driven Design

 ...over the years, each succeeding
 generation of word processors has been
 able to do more, and consequently has
 been less useful.

 MacUser, August 2, 1996
Human-Centred Design
Involve studies of human cognition and social
interaction in the design process
Involve users as participants in the design
Advantages:
   design support for human learning, skill development,
    styles and strategies of working, individual and cultural
    differences
Problems:
   can be time consuming: detailed analysis of cognitive
    processes and social interactions
   designing radically new products, where we can’t easily
    predict how people will think, work and interact
Results:
   human centred technology
Human-Centred Design
• Cognitive Engineering
   To understand the fundamental principles
    behind human action and performance
    that are relevant for the engineering
    principles of design.       Don Norman,
    1986
• Socio-cognitive Engineering
   To analyse the complex interactions
    between people and technology so as to
    inform the design of usable, useful and
    enjoyable socio-technical systems
 Human-centred design includes user-centred design
Related approaches
• User Engineering (IBM)
  Combination of human-centred design process
   with rigour and metrics to ensure quality control
• Contextual Design (Beyer and Holtzblatt)
  Customer focused human centred design

								
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