Bad situation awareness designs: What went wrong and why

  • Bolstad C
  • Costello A
  • Endsley M
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When designing systems for individuals the goal is to develop a product that the user can interact with effectively and efficiently. Bad designs can lead to products that are not used, are ineffective and in some cases dangerous to the end user. Bad designs can also fall prey to SA demons. One way of designing effective products that do not have problems with these demons is to focus the design process around maintaining and improving the end users Situation Awareness (SA). The SA Oriented Design (SAOD) approach and the SA design principles developed by Endsley (2003) provide a set of guidelines for designing products around the SA needs of the user. These guidelines offer practical advice for designing both products and interfaces. As ergonomists/human factor engineers/product designers, we learn from both our previous positive design experiences as well as our mistakes. However, just following the SA design guidelines does not ensure a superior product in terms of improving or maintaining SA. In this paper I will present a few designs, that both did and did not follow the SA design approach and principles and ended up not being a very good product/system.

Author-supplied keywords

  • product design
  • situation awareness
  • usability

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  • Ca Bolstad

  • Am Costello

  • Mr Endsley

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