Horizon CDT Research Highlights

Research Highlights

Designing Complex Data Systems in Naturalistic Decision Making Contexts

  Chrisminder Hare (2011 cohort)   www.nottingham.ac.uk/~psxch1

Chrisminder is a fourth year Horizon DTC PhD student at University of Nottingham, part sponsored by Airbus Group. In recent years, there has been a growing research interest in both theoretical and applied fields of decision-making and in particular, how decisions are made in complicated, time-limited critical situations. There are a number of widely accepted models and frameworks which look at the decision making process and how to extract decision requirements from highly complex situations. However, it is less clear how decision-making theory should influence the design of system interfaces and how this can be operationalised within the design process. This thesis investigates approaches to more deeply integrate decision making theory within the design process and whether this results in systems that aid users in reaching better outcomes.

The approach taken uses mixed-methods combining observations, critical decision method interviews, focus groups and experimentation. Study one focuses on understanding naturalistic decision making contexts and the decision making processes that operators may go through. This study uses data from observations, critical decision method interviews and focus groups to inform cognitive work analysis and decision centered design frameworks. The observations and interviews are undertaken in emergency scenarios including fire incidences in the fire and rescue service and engine failures from the aviation industry. Upon completing this study, the design methodology will be tested and validated using interfaces in the fire and rescue service and in the aviation industry. The second study uses the outcomes and design methodology from study one to inform the design of a new cockpit interface for a new commercial aircraft. The third study focuses on a part redesign of a fire and rescue service system used on the ground when attending an incident.

This author is supported by the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Nottingham (RCUK Grant No. EP/G037574/1), by the RCUK’s Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute (RCUK Grant No. EP/G065802/1), and by Airbus Group.