Eye movement behaviour viewing colour-coded and monochrome avionic displays

  • Hughes P
  • Creed D
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This paper reports on two experiments in which subjects' eye movement behaviour was monitored while they searched for target information in colour coded and monochrome horizontal situation indicator (HSI) displays. The first experiment required subjects to locate and report alphanumeric information associated with the active waypoint on the displayed flightpath. Initial fixations in the display were more accurately directed to the target information when it was redundantly colour coded compared with when it was coded by shape and relative positional codes. Fewer fixations and a shorter time were required to locate the colour coded target and verbally report the relevant information. The time advantage of colour coded displays compared with monochrome displays was greatest for visually cluttered displays. In the second study there was no advantage of a coloured display when the task was to count all the displayed waypoint symbols on the flight path. The lack of any benefit for colour coding was a result of waypoint symbols having strong positional predictability due to their relationship to the displayed flightpath in both the colour and monochrome displays. The implication from these results is that colour coded information confers an advantage over a spatial code for targets at unknown spatial location but less benefit when target location can be predicted by other visual cues.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aviation
  • Colour coding
  • Eye movement
  • Visual display

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  • Philip K. Hughes

  • David J. Creed

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