Cognitive systems engineering

Front Cover
Wiley, Aug 16, 1994 - Business & Economics - 378 pages
0 Reviews
Powerful information technologies and the complex support systems they engender are evolving faster than people's ability to adjust to them. In the workplace, this leads to troublesome task performance, added stress on users, increased organizational inefficiency, and, in some cases, a heightened risk of wide-scale disaster. In the marketplace, it makes for consumer dissatisfaction. Clearly, traditional human-computer interaction (HCI) and system design (SD) solutions to this dilemma have proven woefully inadequate. What is needed is a fresh multidisciplinary approach offering a broader, more dynamic framework for assessing needs and designing usable, efficient systems. Taking modeling concepts from engineering, psychology, cognitive science, information science, and computer science, cognitive systems engineering (CSE) provides such a framework. This book is the first comprehensive guide to the emerging new field of CSE. Providing equal parts theory and practice, it is based on the authors' many years of experience with work systems in a wide range of work domains, including process control, manufacturing, hospitals, and libraries. Throughout, the emphasis is on powerful analytical techniques that enhance the systems designer's ability to see the "big picture", and to design for all crucial aspects of human-work interaction. Applicable to highly structured technical systems such as process plants, as well as less structured user-driven systems like libraries, these analytical techniques form the basis for the evaluation and design guidelines that make up the bulk of this book. And since the proof is in the pudding, the authors provide a chapter-length case history in which theydemonstrate the success of their approach when applied to a full-scale software design project. The project, a retrieval system for public libraries, is described in detail, from field studies to concept validation experiments, and, of course, the empirical evaluation of the system while in use by the library users and personnel. Computer-based information systems are rapidly becoming a fundamental part of the human landscape. How that landscape evolves over the next decade or so, whether it becomes a hostile one or one that generously supports the needs of future generations, is in the hands of all those involved with the study and design of information systems.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Work Domain Analysis
Activity Analysis
Analysis of Work Organization and System Users

11 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1994)

About the authors JENS RASMUSSEN was a research professor of cognitive systems engineering at Risų National Laboratory and the Technical University of Copenhagen, following 25 years as the head of the Electronics Department at Risų National Laboratory (then Atomic Energy Research Establishment Risų). Since 1962, he has conducted research in the areas of reliability and risk factors, human reliability, work domain taxonomy, human-machine interaction, and ecological information systems design. A distinguished leader in the aforementioned fields, he has chaired a number of groups of international experts appointed to assess risk and human-machine interaction in nuclear and other hazardous industries. He is now a consultant in cognitive systems engineering and risk management. ANNELISE MARK PEJTERSEN is a Senior Scientist with the Cognitive Systems Group at Risų National Laboratory. She was an acting professor at the Royal School of Librarianship and manager of the Danish Labor Union’s Center for Informatics. Her main areas of expertise developed from the early 1970s and include the taxonomy of work domains, cognitive engineering methods for system design and evaluation, cognitive work analysis, multimedia interfaces, ecological interface design, information indexing and retrieval, and the analysis and modeling of user behavior. She holds several prizes for her results in the design and evaluation of information retrieval systems based on field studies. L. P. GOODSTEIN was a senior scientist of the Electronics Department of Risų National Laboratory for 25 years. He started work in the human-machine area in the early 1960s by designing and operationally evaluating a control console including dynamic graphic displays for a nuclear reactor. His fields of expertise include the analysis, design, and evaluation of decision support systems, human-computer interfaces, information displays for process control, and the design and use of process simulators for human-machine system research. He is now a consultant in human-machine systems design and evaluation.