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Title: Alarm initiated activities: Matching formats to tasks
Authors: Stanton, NA
Stammers, RB
Keywords: Alarm displays;Alarm handling;Alarm design
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Citation: International Journal of Cognitive Ergonomics. 2(4): 331-348
Abstract: This paper addresses the selection of visual alarm formats for different 'alarm initiated activities'. The activities under examination were alarm handling tasks. Seven such tasks have been identified, namely: observe, accept, analyse, investigate, correct, monitor and reset. One of the most important stages is the initial analysis of the alarm information as this determines the subsequent manner in which the information is processed. It was hypothesised that the format in which the information is presented will determine the success of the alarm handling task, hence the proposal to match formats to tasks. The findings suggest that text-based formats are best suited to tasks requiring time-based reasoning, mimic formats are best suited to tasks requiring spatial location and annunciator formats are best suited to tasks requiring recognition of spatial patterns. The importance of considering both reaction time and accuracy of response in consideration of task match was also noted. In summary, it is suggested that care needs to be taken to determine the appropriateness of the medium for any given task and the demands it places on the human operator.
Appears in Collections:Ergonomics
Dept of Design Research Papers

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