Ecological Interface Design

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter – Annual report year: 1999Researchpeer-review

Without internal affiliation

  • Author: Flach, John M.

    Wright State University, United States

  • Author: Vicente, Kim J.

    University of Toronto, Canada

  • Author: Tanabe, Fumiya

    Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, Japan

  • Author: Monta, Kazuo

    Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation, Japan

  • Author: Rasmussen, Jens


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The Ecological Interface Design (EID) approach is introduced and contrasted with alternative frameworks for evaluating interfaces. Two elements of the EID approach are 1) the problem of correspondence between the functional constraints in a work domain and features of the interface; and 2) the problem of integrating complex information about the work domain into a perceptually coherent representation that allows direct manipulation within the work domain. The abstraction/decomposition space is presented as a framework for attacking the correspondence problem (i.e., identifying functional constraints within a work domain). Four strategies for configuring information in ways that increase coherence are presented: mimic, state space, nested symmetries, and metaphor. Empirical support for the EID approach is summarized and recommendations for partitioning the iterative design evaluation process are made.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Ergonomics/Human Factors
EditorsK. Itoh, S. Kuwano
Number of pages46
Place of PublicationTokyo
PublisherAsakura Publishing
Publication date1999
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
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ID: 139596361