A manifesto for cognitive ergonomics: re-evaluating technology usability for the 21st century

Witchel, Harry J and Westling, Carina E I (2020) A manifesto for cognitive ergonomics: re-evaluating technology usability for the 21st century. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Rethinking Cognitive Ergonomics co-located with the 31th European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2019), Belfast, UK, September 10th, 2019. Published in: CEUR Workshop Proceedings. 2539 26-35. CEUR Workshop Proceedings ISSN 1613-0073

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Computer infiltration into the workplace and society has been extensive, yet the ideals of efficacy, efficiency and satisfaction have not been wholly met. We propose an ambitious framework to take forward Cognitive Ergonomics. We define Cognitive Ergonomics as an interdisciplinary field of research and practice dedicated towards:

• Improving human wellbeing, mankind and our environment

• By understanding and supporting human cognition

• When at work or performing goal-directed tasks

• With computers and other engineered artefacts.

This revitalizing framework will be based on:

• Interdisciplinary Research

• Research-based Policy

• Education

The proposed interdisciplinary framework will refocus on the classical facets of usability and include work-relevant emotions as well as understanding the minimal requirements for successful interactions (including understanding agency). The research-based policy will focus on efficacy in terms of human cognitive ergonomics in a holistic perspective (i.e. producing the effects we want without adverse effects). This will include complex questions about interface design in the context of the organisational and business models that influence its development (e.g. monetization). The educational concerns will focus on efficiency and include minimal programmes for all computer scientists and all end-users, as well as the consequences of digital mediation in learning generally. This framework will differentiate cognitive ergonomics from its cognate fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Psychology, and address a gap between the social sciences and engineering that has become more urgent in the past 5-10 years. It is ideally suited to be carried forward by the European Association of Cognitive Ergonomics, as this framework is specifically a collaborative effort grounded in European intellectual and scientific tradition; a perspective that offers a much-needed contrast and complement to Anglosphere research and development agendas in interactive technologies.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Depositing User: Harry Witchel
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2020 10:01
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2020 10:01
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89875

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