Original Article

Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 205-223

First online:

Design of Information Content and Layout for Process Control Based on Goal–Means Domain Analysis

  • D.-H. HamAffiliated withInformation Support Division, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Taejon, South Korea
  • , W. C. YoonAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Taejon, South Korea

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With regard to the design of information content in information display, it is often claimed that the abstraction hierarchy (AH) of the work domain should be considered as a basis for identifying and structuring the information content. The primary advantage of AH-based analysis and design is that functionally abstracted information can systematically be identified and provided to the operator, which has rarely been presented in traditional displays. This study evaluated the effectiveness of providing functional information, which was abstracted and represented based on goal–means analysis along the AH, to the operator in two task situations (fault diagnosis and operation). The results showed that the operator’s performance was improved with the high-level information, and the latter’s utility became greater when the goal–means relations between information at different abstraction levels were exhibited. From the results, three design principles for information display can be drawn. First, information should be identified and displayed at multiple abstraction levels. Second, the goal–means relations among the abstraction levels should be explicitly presented, especially for analytical cognitive tasks. Third, information layout should support information integration along decomposition structure within an abstraction level as well as along abstraction levels.

Key words: Abstraction hierarchy – Fault diagnosis – Functionally abstracted information – Information display design – Process control