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BIT Tables of Contents: 01020304050607080910111213

Behaviour and Information Technology 3

Editors:Tom Stewart
Dates:1984
Volume:3
Publisher:Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Standard No:ISSN 0144-929X
Papers:54
Links:Table of Contents
  1. BIT 1984 Volume 3 Issue 1
  2. BIT 1984 Volume 3 Issue 2
  3. BIT 1984 Volume 3 Issue 3
  4. BIT 1984 Volume 3 Issue 4

BIT 1984 Volume 3 Issue 1

Editorial BIB 1-2
  Tom Stewart
Tolerant Software for the Recognition of User-Defined Commands in a Data-Base Environment BIBA 3-12
  Perry R. Morrison; Grant Noble
The need for software which tolerates errors in user input is discussed and a particular piece of software is described which accepts inadequacies and extreme abbreviations in keywords stored in easily prepared dictionary files. Though its previous application has been in the recognition of user-defined commands, evaluation shows that it can be easily adapted to other more general applications, provided that the hardware and software environment of the installation is compatible.
Enhancing NOTEPAD Teleconferencing for the BLEND Electronic Journal BIBA 13-23
  D. J. Pullinger
The BLEND experimental programme on electronic communication and 'electronic journals' is based on the computer teleconferencing software suite NOTEPAD. Although this allowed several levels of communication, it was found necessary to enhance the facilities to aid users in their tasks, authors in editing and sending manuscripts to the host computers, to aid readers in skipping round a journal paper and to make the interaction more simple and consistent. This paper describes the process, rationale and extent of these enhancements. Although the changes made are modest (by the standards feasible in computer systems designs), they have made a considerable differences to the ease of use and amount of use.
OAM: An Office Analysis Methodology BIBA 25-39
  Marvin Sirbu; Sandor Schoichet; Jay S. Kunin; Michael Hammer; Juliet Sutherland
OAM is a functionally oriented office analysis methodology which provides guidance in preparing an office study, collecting information from office staff, and organizing and presenting the results. It is well suited to semi-structured offices and provides the appropriate level of detail for making decisions regarding the design and justification of a computerized office information system. An evaluation of OAM by several using organizations shows it to be an efficient, effective, teachable methodology. OAM was perceived by users to improve significantly the functionality of office information systems implemented after an OAM study by comparison with task oriented study methodologies.
Videotext Technology: An Overview with Special Reference to Transaction Processing as an Interactive Service or Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Text on TV and Were Terrified that Someone Would Tell You BIBA 41-71
  Peter Gilligan; John Long
This paper presents a comprehensive overview of videotex technology with specific reference to transaction processing. Transaction processing is taken to include: banking, shopping, ticket booking and the downline loading of software. The overview characterizes the interactive transaction services offered by videotext systems. First, the hardware aspects of delivery of the information are considered including broadcast delivery and telephone and cable network delivery. Second, the software aspects of the construction of the information are discussed, including character and graphics (picture) generation. Last, the interactive services offered on videotext systems are reviewed, including transaction modes, dialogue types, task elements and user classification. Conclusions are drawn with respect to the suitability of videotext systems for different modes of transaction processing.
Text-to-Speech Conversion in Telecommunications BIBA 73-78
  Rolf Carlson; Bjorn Granstrom
Text-to-speech systems have attracted a lot of research and development during the last decade. Recently, this work has resulted in relatively inexpensive products with decent speech quality. Text-to-speech systems offer an alternative to presenting text information on screens or paper. The telephone could hence be used as a computer terminal. Very little information is at present available on human factors in the use of these new devices. In this paper we will discuss the use of a multilingual text-to-speech system in various applications related to telecommunications.

Comment

Some Human-Factors Implications of Expert Systems BIB 79-83
  V. David Hopkin
What Individuality Means for Systems Design BIB 85-91
  J. H. F. Huddleston

BIT 1984 Volume 3 Issue 2

Ergonomics of the User Interface

Editorial BIB 95
  Tom Stewart
Introduction: The Ergonomics of the User Interface BIB 97-98
  E. A. Edmonds; T. R. G. Green
Wayfinding: An Approach Using Signposting Techniques BIBA 99-107
  I. D. Benest; M. H. N. Potok
One of the major problems that affects a person's ability to make effective use of an interactive program is the level at which its manipulation affects the intellectual process necessary to solve his current problem. For example, in a computer-aided circuit design system, the user often has to spend so much time manipulating the system or thinking about how he will manipulate the system next, that he is unable to direct his full attention to the actual design of his circuit.
   Without the use of the computer, the mundane numerical calculations that need to be performed in order to do the design, interfere with the engineering design process. By assisting with these mundane calculations and thus enabling the engineer to consider many more possible designs, the engineer should be able to fully concentrate on the design goals. Instead, however, he must sacrifice some of his mental effort to manipulating the system.
   Programs which are developed to assist the user in doing highly innovative tasks (Benest and Fidler 1981) must be designed so that they provide an 'aura' that enables the user to realize almost subconsciously what is expected of him. Such a system would therefore be simple and straightforward to learn, simple and straightforward to use, promote confidence and exhibit an unhurried work environment. These laudable aims have been investigated during the development of the passive filter design program FIDES, which serves to provide a graphical demonstration of the man-machine interface techniques discussed in this paper.
Fatal Error in Pass Zero: How Not to Confuse Novices BIBA 109-118
  Benedict Du Boulay; Ian Matthew
All novice programmers find that their initial programs are rejected by the compiler in a flurry of incomprehensible error messages. Some messages are even hostile (e.g. fatal error in pass zero) and leave the novice sadder and certainly no wiser. The quality of error messages is usually the loser when the compiler writer attempts to balance conflicting design constraints such as size, speed, quality of target code and utility of use by competent programmers.
   We believe that novices' programs should be passed through a series of checkers which are designed to trap and comment on the particular kinds of errors made by them. Such systems may have to make several passes through the program, even to provide an apposite comment on a syntactic error. For logic checking such systems will need access to a description (in some form) of what the novice's program is supposed to do. Only when a novice's program passes through all the checkers successfully should it be submitted to the standard compiler.
   This paper surveys existing attempts to build 'intelligent' compilers which are considerate of novices' difficulties. It then describes our own progress towards the construction of program checkers for use by undergraduates learning Pascal.
The Application of Path Algebras to Interactive Dialogue Design BIBA 119-132
  J. L. Alty
The CONNECT interactive dialogue system is briefly described and the path-algebra technique explained. Its relevance to interactive dialogue design is illustrated by a number of examples. The analysis and usefulness of multilayered networks is briefly explained and a possible extension to step retracing is outlined.
Towards the Experimental Study of Usability BIBA 133-143
  K. D. Eason
Usability is presented as a concept which can limit the degree to which a user can realize the potential utility of a computer system. A field study is presented to illustrate the manner in which usability problems inhibit usage. The study examined a banking system which provided staff with 36 ways of extracting information from a customer's account. The usage log shows that four 'codes' accounted for 75% of usage and many 'codes', although designed specifically for known banking tasks, were virtually unused. An investigation was undertaken in 15 branches to identify what happened when staff were confronted by tasks for which unused facilities had been designed. The results showed that staff were able to use a small set of well-known facilities for most purposes, albeit inefficiently and sometimes ineffectively. The strategy adopted was to avoid searching unknown facilities except as a last resort.
   From this and other field studies a framework is presented to summarize the variables affecting the usability of a system. It portrays the user making a series of implicit cost-benefit assessments as he undertakes tasks, attempting to minimize search effort 'costs' rather than trying to optimise 'benefits'. The paper ends by examining the methodological implications of this framework. It is suggested that many of the variables which influence usability are excluded from normal experimental paradigms with the result that usability issues are often not evident in the results of experimental studies. It is advocated that more attention be paid to realistic simulation studies and to field experiments in order to submit the concept of usability to thorough scientific scrutiny.
Automatic Speech Recognition -- A Solution in Search of a Problem? BIBA 145-152
  Jeremy B. Peckham
Automatic speech recognition technology has been around for well over a decade. Despite its availability there has been little significant demand from end users. This paper examines where we are in speech-recognition technology and discusses its relevance to building effective man-machine interfaces. Major factors characterizing applications benefiting from the technology are discussed.
Use of Flexible Voice Output Techniques for Machine-Man Communication BIBA 153-161
  A. P. Stephens; J. N. Holmes
Techniques of speech synthesis potentially suitable for machine voice output were demonstrated in research laboratories 20 years ago (see, for example, Holmes et al. 1964), but have so far been restricted in application by the difficulty of generating acceptable speech with a sufficiently flexible vocabulary. JSRU's current laboratory system produces highly intelligible speech from an unlimited English vocabulary. The technique of speech synthesis by rule enables synthetic speech to be generated from conventionally spelled English text, with provision for using modified spelling or phonetic symbols for the small proportion of words that would otherwise be pronounced incorrectly.
   Recent advances in electronic technology have made it feasible to implement the most advanced systems for flexible speech synthesis in low-cost equipment. In addition to research towards improving the speech quality, JSRU is shortly expecting to demonstrate synthesis by rule in a self-contained voice output peripheral based on inexpensive microprocessor and signal processing integrated circuits. This paper considers some of the operational constraints which must be placed on the use of such a device if speech synthesis is to take place as a general-purpose machine-man communication medium.
Interaction with Machines by Voice: A Telecommunications Perspective BIBA 163-177
  J. A. Waterworth
Speech has a number of advantages as a medium of communication with computers, and its use could, in principle, convert every telephone into a low-cost remote terminal. But man-machine vocal interaction gives rise to several problems that make this a fertile area for human-factors research. This paper attempts to set these issues within a telecommunications context, and provides a review of some of our experimental studies in the area. Three main aspects are considered; the perception of machine-generated speech (both concatenated, stored-waveform and truly synthetic) and the problems inherent in auditory information presentation, the user difficulties associated with automatic speech recognition, and the design of voice-based interactive information services.

Book Reviews

"Office Technology in the 1980's: Office Workstations," by M. A. Condon BIB 179-181
  F. R. Brigham
"Planning and Understanding: A Computational Approach to Human Reasoning," by Robert Wilensky BIB 179-181
  Andy Whitefield

BIT 1984 Volume 3 Issue 3

Editorial BIB 183-184
  Tom Stewart
Ease of Annotation in Proof-Reading Tasks BIBA 185-194
  P. Wright; A. Lickorish
Two models of proof-reading tasks are explored by varying the procedures for annotating a text. One model assumes that the processes of detecting errors, recording annotations and resuming proof-reading are sets of serial processes. The other model assumes that annotation processes may overlap with reading the text. Performance when proof-reading a vertically displayed text (as on a CRT) and recording the errors on a separate sheet was compared with reading a horizontal text (as on a desk top) and recording annotations in the margins. The data supported the serial model and showed that variations in annotation procedures can yield differences in proof-reading speed of comparable magnitude to those found in an earlier study where CRT and printout displays were contrasted and the differences were attributed to legibility factors. The implications of these findings and this model of proof-reading are related to the wider issues of using electronic texts.
The User Interface to Computer-Based Information Systems: A Survey of Current Software Design Practice BIBA 195-203
  Sidney L. Smith; Jane N. Mosier
From a survey of 201 people concerned with information-system design, estimates for 83 systems indicate that on average 30-35 per cent of operational software is devoted to the user-system interface (USI). In the design of USI software, survey responses indicate that improvements are needed in requirements definition, design documentation and design guidelines.
Beyond User Friendly -- Towards the Assimilation of Multifunctional-Workstation Capabilities BIBA 205-220
  Jill Smith
This paper develops, describes and critiques an integrated, theoretical model which provides a framework for studying and planning performance-improvement programs for users working with the capabilities of multifunctional workstations. The performance-improvement block interaction model focuses on three facets of performance improvement: (i) individual and group substitution and augmentation skills, (ii) man-computer interface design, and (iii) organizational philosophy. The variables depicted in the model are derived largely from two existing models and a previous empirical study which are also described in the paper. These variables will interact with the above three facets to determine the extent of multifunctional-workstation utilization. One variable, the concept of user augmentation skills, is unique to the performance-improvement block interaction model. Thus, one section of the paper explains augmentation skills and the relationship of these skills to multifunctional-workstation utilization.
Office Planning and Design: The Impact of Organizational Change Due to Advanced Information Technology BIBA 221-233
  Peter Ellis
The paper reports a recent study of the impact of information technology (I.T.) on the planning and design of office building. Advanced I.T. is associated with changes to organizational structure which in turn affect space planning requirements. Recent research is reviewed to indicate trends in organizational change. Then the implications for planning and design are discussed. Conclusions are drawn for the future layout and design of office buildings suitable for organizations with advanced I.T.
Computer Power to the People: Computer Resource Centres or Home Terminals? Two Scenarios BIBA 235-248
  Bo Hedberg; Marilyn Mehlmann
Computer power will become widely available in industrialized societies by the end of the 1980s. Hardware costs are still falling. High-level languages, tools, and software packages make the equipment easier to use. National mainframe computers or separate microcomputers in homes, shops, and offices offer personal computing and networking to a rapidly growing number of citizens. But how should the new resources be utilized? What kind of society do we want to build? How will work, family life, and societal services and obligations be organized in the late 1980s? One strategy is to deliver computer power and computer services through home terminals so that many people can handle their affairs, and maybe even work, from home. Another is to encourage computer resource centres in suburbs, towns and villages and to develop a more collective pattern of computer use. The paper spells out these two approaches and discusses their respective advantages and disadvantages, and the mechanisms at work in Sweden favouring the one or the other development.
An Approach to IKBS Development Based on a Review of "Conceptual Structures: Information Processing in Mind and Machine" by J. F. Sowa BIBA 249-255
  Dan Diaper
A critical commentary is offered on the nature and development of IKBSs. The commentary was prompted by a review of Sowa's book which is also presented. The book is used to introduce many of the relevant issues. Sowa concentrates on the architecture of IKBSs, however, this commentary argues that the social and psychological impact of these systems will increasingly be determined by IKBSs' abilities and functions. Furthermore, a distinction is made between an IKBS itself and its interface with the human user.

BIT 1984 Volume 3 Issue 4

Ergodesign 84 -- Ergonomics and Design in the Electronic Office:

Editorial BIB 259-260
  Tom Stewart
Foreword BIB 261
  Etienne Grandjean

Ergodesign 84 -- Ergonomics and Design in the Electronic Office: 1. Review and Introductory Papers

Information Technology -- A Challenge to Ergonomics and Design BIBA 263-275
  B. Shackel
The growth and some characteristics of information technology (IT) are outlined, and the importance of ergonomics in the design of IT systems is illustrated. Some immediate questions for the next 7 years are discussed, including research gaps and needs, the development of design procedures, a suggested ergonomics framework and some industrial design aspects. Longer-term questions discussed are the passing of paper, the reduction of writing, the victory of voice and the wired society. Finally, some of the important broader issues are mentioned and the need for collaborative synergy by ergonomists, computer professionals, architects and industrial designers is emphasized.
The Integration of Ergonomics into Design -- A Review BIBA 277-283
  Tomas A. R. Berns
This paper examines the role of ergonomics in product and systems design. Market requirements as well as legislation have increased the use of ergonomics in design. This has increased the demands upon both ergonomists and designers. The ergonomist must learn to participate in the product development team. In return the design team must find the time and resources necessary for the inclusion of ergonomics in the development programme. This paper discusses the different roles played by the ergonomist in each stage of product and systems design. The need to give designers, engineers and management a fundamental education in ergonomics is highlighted as is the need for the ergonomist to consider the financial consequences of his work.
Standards Related to the Design of VDT Workstations and Their Environment BIBA 285-289
  Bengt Asker
The European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) has traditionally dealt with technical standards for interfaces between technical devices. In ergonomics the interface is between a device and a human being. This is a new task for ECMA and as consequence it was decided to start with recommendations only.
   Two radically different approaches could be envisioned: the jury method and the measurement method. Although the first holds several merits ECMA chose the latter method.
   The resulting report treats the human characteristics that are of relevance for the task at a VDU workstation, the suitable environment, as well as the equipment itself, i.e. the VDU and its keyboard.
   The committee that produced the report is now preparing a standard for VDUs from it.
Lighting Characteristics, Legibility and Visual Comfort of Displays BIBA 291-299
  Helmut Krueger
In future, as well as visual human-computer interfaces, acoustic interfaces will get more and more important. However, the visual channel will be the more important channel due to its capacity. Therefore, it is necessary not only to optimize the display with regard to performance and time, but also to acceptance and subjective workload. On the one hand the single character (luminance, geometry, shape, colour) and on the other hand the arrangement of characters (distance of characters, image distortions, structure of text) should be adapted to human psychophysiological abilities. Moreover, the influence of the environment (lighting) and time-dependent phenomena (flicker, jitter) should be taken into consideration. Good ergonomists should imply the use of all possibilities which the flexible new technology offers for workplaces, including sensory or muscularly handicapped people.
Postures and the Design of VDT Workstations BIBA 301-311
  Etienne Grandjean
With the introduction of VDTs many office employees became part of a man-machine system with close physical binding to the workstation. Constrained postures associated with muscle fatigue and sometimes with impairments involving joints or tendons can occur.
   Field studies revealed a certain incidence of physical discomfort in the neck-shoulder-arm-hand area. These troubles may also occur in other strenuous office jobs. An increased incidence of physical discomfort and medical findings is observed when keyboard levels are too low, when forearm and wrists cannot rest on an adequate support and when the design of the keyboard itself is too high.
   A study of preferred settings and postures at adjustable VDT workstations under practical conditions revealed the need for relatively wide ranges of adjustable dimensions. The operators prefer postures similar to those of car drivers: they lean backwards with upper arms kept higher than expected and slightly opened elbow angles. Recommendations are drawn from these studies for the proper design of VDT workstations concerning the ranges of adjustability, the leg room and the chair.
Aspects Ergonomiques du Logiciel et de la Structuration du Travail BIBA 313-318
  Jacques Inguenaud
The introduction of VDT workstations into everyday office situations necessitates the design of interactive dialogues for non-specialized operators. These dialogues must be developed by a detailed analysis of the operators' work and concerted understanding between operators, ergonomists and computer specialists. The result will be improved tasks and adapted software.
The Role of Ergonomics in Office-Systems Design BIBA 319-327
  Tom Stewart
The office is a major target for the suppliers of computer systems but it is rather more than the 'paperwork factory' of the advertisements. Various items of 'new' technology promise all manner of benefits from electronic filing to video conferencing. However, many of the components of the advanced office system are similar to the displays, keyboards, printers, black boxes and wiring of traditional computing and bring with them the same ergonomic problems for the users when they interact with the office environment. Solving these problems involves taking a systems approach to the office. A key concept is the system life cycle and in this paper eight ergonomics inputs relevant to the different stages of office-system design are identified.
Planning for the Future Office -- Today BIBA 329-340
  Don Korell
Office electronics is driving the change in the modern office, but is neither the solution nor the source of office problems. Office change will continue at an increasing rate and office planning must start with a holistic consideration of the four basic office elements and their interaction if it is to be successful. These elements are: technology/computers, facilities/furniture, work/job function and social/people issues.
   Increasing office technology will result in more computers and other hardware directly in the workstation. Paper growth will continue and communication technology will increase in importance and sophistication.
   Buildings will be less able to support the increasing demands for automation in many ways, including lighting, wiring, cabling, heating, cooling and privacy. Furniture will assume more of these functions to save building renovation costs. Furniture systems must retain maximum flexibility to adapt to these changing needs. Automated information systems will allow decentralization of the office. Total office ergonomics will become increasingly important.
   Job functions will change with automation. The work force will require fewer clerical and more 'knowledge' workers. Jobs must be redesigned to account for boredom and to make better use of a worker's potential.
   Workers will need to rehumanize the workplace in the face of increasing high technology. Management needs to view workers as a valued investment, which will lead to improved relations. Unless worker health and safety concerns are adequately addressed, increased union and legislative involvement is likely as the white-collar work force grows.
   The rapid office changes we now see offer great opportunities to increase worker effectiveness, but several conditions must be met. (1) Senior management must be active in developing office automation plans because of the potential huge costs and benefits. (2) Human resources specialists must be involved in the planning process to ensure that proper orientation and training are given and to gain maximum advantage from office changes. The impact of the changes on corporate culture must be integrated into the planning process. (3) Financial resources must be committed to update office systems. (4) A holistic consideration of the four basic elements of the office is critical to the successful anticipation of future needs. (5) Change is continual and the office plan must be updated. (6) A team of specialists must assist senior management in developing, implementing and updating the plan.

Ergodesign 84 -- Ergonomics and Design in the Electronic Office: 2. Field Studies, Office Furniture and Hardware

Ergonomic Studies in Computer-Aided Design BIBA 341-346
  G. H. Van Der Heiden; E. Grandjean
This paper describes the results of an ergonomic survey on interactive graphics workstations for computer-aided design (CAD). A work-sampling study was carried out to characterize the use of keyboard, digitizer tablet and video display. Subjective impressions of CAD software, CAD hardware and health aspects were collected by means of a questionnaire. Working methods and working postures were recorded on videotape. The two most important differences in comparison with other office terminals are: (i) dynamic working methods result in an absence of constrained postures in CAD operators and allow full-body exercise; (ii) CAD operators spend more time (46-68 per cent of working hours) viewing the video display than the average office terminal operator. Some ergonomic recommendations have been deduced for the construction of CAD terminals, as well as for the ergonomic improvement of existing workstations.
Prevalence of Data Operators' Musculoskeletal Symptoms During the Workday and Workweek BIBA 347-351
  Ritva Kukkonen; P. Huuhtanen; P. Hakala
The aim of this report, which is part of a study on the factors of mental load in office work, was to determine whether 30 data operators' musculoskeletal symptoms varied during the workday and workweek. An ergonomic survey was also carried out to find measures to improve the workstations and to motivate the operators to recognize problem areas. The results showed that all musculoskeletal symptoms increased during the workday, but symptoms in the neck and shoulders most of all. There were no differences in the prevalences of symptoms between the beginning and the end of the workweek. In response to the questions on mental-load factors, operators described their work as not mentally demanding but as very pressing at times. They felt they received insufficient feedback and that their work was not appreciated by the work organization. These results led to the following recommendations: job rotation; increased feedback; more instruction on how to adjust the worksite. Exercises for relaxation and the improvement of muscle awareness were also recommended.
Electromyography and Office-Chair Design; A Pilot Study BIBA 353-357
  A. K. Burton
A pilot study is described which investigates the feasibility of using spinal electromyography as a means of discriminating between the effects of various office-chair designs on spinal muscle activity. The results support the view that the use of a back rest reduces spinal muscle activity but also suggest that when working (typing), the technique adopted by the worker has a greater effect on muscle activity than the design of the chair. Simple electromyographic studies may not be sufficiently sensitive to discriminate between the effects of individual chairs on spinal health, but it is suggested that ergonomic consideration may be more important than individual design concepts of office chairs.
A New Concept in Chair Design BIBA 359-362
  Erwin Hort
What is to be expected from the office chair of the future? One thing is certain: office seating is taking on increasingly dynamic dimensions. Office work today is based on a multitude of activities requiring frequent changes in position, and added to this are flexible organizational forms -- technically complex office systems are often used by a number of people. Thus, the working chair has become a prime target for an ergonomic approach in the office environment.
Improving VDT Workplaces in Offices by Use of a Physiologically Optimized Screen with Black Symbols on a Light Background: Basic Considerations BIBA 363-369
  D. Bauer
A physiologically optimized bright screen with dark characters has been developed in an effort to eliminate the visual problems and design restrictions which are commonly found in conventional VDTs, as described in numerous publications. It is designed to give a near optimum of visual acuity. Its character sharpness is significantly better than equivalent bright characters on dark backgrounds. By choosing an appropriate black character matrix, screen characters may be made to highly resemble carbon typed characters on a white piece of paper.
   Inherent problems of the 50-60 Hz dark-background screen -- blackness of the background, inappropriate adaptation level, gross level differences between screen and document, sensitivity to specular and diffuse reflections -- have been eliminated by a light-background VDT, which is flicker- and jitter-free and which uses correctly designed optics.
   The experimental unit tolerates source luminances up to 2000 cd/m² and vertical illumination levels up to 6000 lx without essential degradation of readability. Consequently, a considerable degree of freedom in designing a VDT workroom is gained: optimum office illumination without restrictions imposed by inappropriate VDUs is possible even in situations where, in one workroom, work which needs high-level illumination and VDT work exist side by side.
Limits of Visual Perception in the Technology of Visual Display Terminals BIBA 371-377
  F. L. Van Nes
The limits of visual perception in present VDT technology for man-machine communication are considered. Essentially, these limits concern the reading of the displayed information and follow from the prevailing display conditions as to (i) luminous contrast, (ii) character shape, (iii) text layout and (iv) text colour. The effect of these conditions on legibility is quantitatively described from research results, and practical suggestions are given for improving display legibility, through changes in contrast polarity, character shape, layout and the way colour is used. Finally, a plea is made for including experts in visual ergonomics in the teams developing new display devices in the future.
Design Aspects of the Burroughs ET 1100 Ergonomic Workstation BIBA 379-380
  Thomas C. Abrahamsen
The Burroughs ET 1100 ergonomic workstation is a general purpose data communications system composed of a display unit and a cable-connected keyboard. It is intended for use in full-time work or continuous-use situations, therefore every effort was made to take ergonomic considerations into account. This paper describes the design process, the limitations provided to the design staff and the resulting product which was released in April 1983. A number of interacting variables needed to be balanced to ensure that one feature had not been optimized to the detriment of another. In addition to the manufacturers interest in the product it was important that it be installed properly, therefore additional measures were taken to educate users and managers about desirable environmental characteristics.
Contribution of Ergonomics to the Design of Antireflection Devices in the Development of VDU Workplaces BIBA 381-385
  A. M. Paci
The design of the early Olivetti VDU workplaces used the micromesh filter as an antireflection device. New ergonomic problems related to the use of the VDUs have forced the designers to adopt the etching treatment on new VDUs and to supply them with the micromesh filter only in cases of particularly highly lit environments. Afterwards, in order to give the operator the opportunity of using the preferred colour of the character, the designers set up coloured plastic filters, which also show good antireflection effectiveness. In this case, the choice of correct colours and the determination of the best compromise between antireflection effectiveness and character sharpness are the contribution of ergonomics to the design of the filters. In this paper the different antireflection devices and their ergonomic evaluation are presented and discussed.
Product Development of an Ergonomic Keyboard BIBA 387-390
  J. Buesen
The first truly 'ergonomic' keyboard for modern VDUs was shown to the public in April 1983 in Zurich. This split keyboard was the result of a research programme carried out by the Department of Hygiene and Work Physiology, ETH, Zurich. The ergonomic factors of the keyboard were convincing to the press, computer manufacturers and users. The steps from models of this keyboard to the final product and related problems of industrial design and engineering are explained. This will help in understanding the distinctive time lags between the results of scientific research and the availability of a product in the market-place.

Ergodesign 84 -- Ergonomics and Design in the Electronic Office: 3. Ergonomics Applied to Design

Skyline Self-Service Ticketing Terminal: Design and Ergonomics BIBA 391-397
  Douglas F. Kelley
Within the next few years, most airlines worldwide will be adopting sophisticated self-service automated systems to enable staff to cope with the predicted increase in airline travel. NCR's new Skylink terminal, designed by Douglas Kelley Associates (DKA), London, is a highly flexible self-service passenger system that can handle flight inquiries, make reservations through the airline's central computer, electronically debit payment for tickets and print and issue tickets. It can also function as a check-in and boarding terminal, providing passes and baggage tags.
   This case study paper outlines the many unique factors pertinent to self-service sales terminals. It will then plot the development work undertaken by DKA in conjunction with the NCR Corporation in achieving practical results applicable for installations worldwide. Particular attention will be devoted to the airline ticketing and check-in terminals emphasizing the vital importance for ergonomic considerations to be integrated into the engineering and appearance design activities from the beginning. Physical factors of ergonomic concern are carefully illustrated together with the more abstract psychological aspects of anxiety and privacy.
   The customer interface by means of VDU screen expression is also discussed and specially programmed computer graphics dialogues shown to illustrate its importance. Other aspects of environmental installation, queueing practices, media replenishment, etc., are included.
   A future overview of such systems is explained showing its adaptation to hotel checking-in, car rental control as well as to variations of ticketing, from travel agents to executive offices of the future.
Behavioural Data in the Design of Ergonomic Computer Terminals and Workstations -- A Case Study BIBA 399-403
  Charles N. Abernethy
Manufacturers of office automation equipment, in their design of ergonomic computer terminals and office furniture, are encountering needed design data which is sometimes weak, absent, erroneous or inapplicable to the office-worker situation under consideration. In some instances, office automation manufacturers simply follow standards. In others, manufacturers make assumptions as to the best design, and in others, design decisions were based on testing results and conclusions.
   The paper reviews the ergonomic tools and features incorporated into the design of one office automation manufacturer's terminals and workstations. The short fall of applicable design data relevant to comfort versus extremes of motion in biomechanics, to keyboard home row height and slope angle to viewing distance, as well as to reverse video and surface colour are presented, along with the design resolution of these parameters. Further, certain aspects of posture recently published are discussed.
A Study of a Modified VDT-Stand Arrangement BIBA 405-409
  T. Marek; C. Noworol; A. Gedliczka; L. Matuszek
The aim of this study was to establish an optimal keyboard and data space arrangement for data-entry operators using a VDT. The location of the keyboard and data was investigated in two ways:
  • (1) An experimental model with a straight-line arrangement of operator,
        keyboard, data to be entered and screen. Entry data in that model were
        located between the keyboard and the screen, on a special inclined
        support. A sliding ruler, making reading easier, was an additional piece
        of equipment of the support. The keyboard was placed in front of the
        desk, below its surface.
  • (2) A traditional model with a lateral arrangement of operator, keyboard,
        screen and with data to be entered either on the right or on the left of
        the keyboard. The test carried out to compare the two arrangements proved the assumption that there is a difference in operators' efficiency depending on the type of arrangement used. While operating the straight-line VDT stand operators were more efficient than when using the lateral one and found the former arrangement more comfortable.
  • ComforTable -- A Generic Desk for the Automated Office BIBA 411-416
      Olov Ostberg; Bengt Warell; Leif Nordell
    The Swedish Telecommunications Administration (STA) has designed and marketed ComforTable, a generic workstation for visual display terminals (VDTs). Among its features are pushbutton, electrically operated height adjustment for the table top and a digital display showing the operational height in centimetres. ComforTable meets current user needs and demands for flexibility, and it is designed to accommodate the newer models of VDTs in Sweden, virtually all of which come with tiltable, height-adjustable screens and thin, detachable keyboards. This paper presents a rationale for the development and use of this generic workstation.
    Designing for Users: Implications for Manufacturers and Employers BIBA 417-422
      Karen Lee Kessel
    Ergonomic design of computer workstations requires an understanding of user needs by manufacturers and employers. Manufacturers must develop equipment allowing users to maximize their efficiency while minimizing stress. Employers must arrange proper workstation configurations. The 'best' design can fail if it is not appropriate for the task or the specific population of users. At one company requesting an evaluation of its adjustable computer workstations, employer and manufacturer failed to address simple user requirements. Job analyses were not adequately performed, and test procedures comparing workstations were probably biased. Casually questioning workers revealed little preference for these newer workstations compared with their older, more traditional, workstations. Recommendations for this company stressed task requirements, likely future changes in task demands and user needs. Emphasis on single factors, such as the universal use of adjustable desks, was substituted for a more coherent picture of the entire job and its requirements.
    Workstation Design for VDT (Product Design Project) BIBA 423-430
      K. Munshi; N. R. Joseph
    Activity and photoergonomic analysis was carried out on 21 VDTs, while the operators were performing usual VDT tasks, at three computer centres in Bombay. Studies confirmed that failure to apply the knowledge of ergonomics to the design of workstations results in unnecessary fatigue and discomfort. Among the various factors which contribute to the efficiency, comfort and well-being of operators, the postural and visual factors are closely related (inseparable) and are important. Document holders, though very important, are not used at all. The aim of the workstation design was to obtain maximum postural/visual efficiency, bearing in mind environmental, manufacturing and marketing constraints.
    Ergonomics in India: A Case Study on Workspace Design for an Alphacomp Phototypesetting Machine BIBA 431-438
      G. G. Ray; D. V. K. Sudhakar; K. Trivedi
    Ergonomics in India is a newly emerging discipline -- having made inroads to the people of India very recently. Most of the Indians are absolutely unaware of using ergonomics to achieve an efficient man-machine-environment system for better productivity with less human cost. The present case study on workspace design for a phototypesetting machine in India indicates that people from the printing sector are ready to spend money importing modern machinery to achieve twofold objectives; (i) improvement of printing quality and (ii) faster publication. However, lack of ergonomic awareness hinders the design of a proper work environment, without which they cannot reach their goals.
       The present study is aimed at designing a proper workplace for an Alphacomp model K-II phototypesetting machine, which is going to be imported by several organizations in Bombay in the near future. The equipment consists of a printer, a floppy-disc drive, a keyboard and a power-supply unit. Only a single set-up out of three existing set-ups in Bombay was studied. As well as the existing workplace arrangement, three other concepts of arranging the equipment were generated and evaluated through mock-up studies. Evaluations were based on time-movement analysis, postural problems and anthropometric requirements by using video technique, questionnaires and personal observations. Strains imposed on thighs, lumbar and shoulder regions in existing conditions were eliminated by redesigning the workspace. The time required to complete the same task in different reorganized workspace arrangements was about 14-20 min less than that of the existing condition. Considering the existing machine design as constrained and based on concept 1, a prototype for a working table has been fabricated from the viewpoint of industrial design which will be patented in the near future.
    Elan Scala: A Proposal for an Office Furniture System BIBA 439-443
      Joh Holenstein
    Fundamental to the development was accurate research in the form of an analysis of the requirements of actual and future needs to be satisfied and an outline (resulting from the analysis) of the ergonomical and functional design options. The design of Elan Scala incorporates the following guidelines: (i) plain-level system, (ii) column system, (iii) furniture not machine, (iv) tendency and application=increased use of data equipment. The main functional options were leg freedom, height and inclination adjustability, freedom of movement for body and hands and for the data equipment to be placed on an independent, well-defined position.
    Integrating Technology and Environment BIBA 445-449
      Neville Osrin
    This paper examines some of the practical issues involved in the effective integration of technology and environment. User-research data are presented, including the development of a new office facilities questionnaire aimed at obtaining empirical evidence to determine what factors are associated with employee satisfaction with the office facility. A second, large-scale survey on seating comfort suggests that the current levels of dysfunction are significantly higher than one could reasonably regard as satisfactory. A series of illustrated case studies demonstrate how the user-related factors identified above contribute to the creation of dysfunctional environment and the erosion of employee satisfaction with the total office environment. The paper concludes with a review of the major areas in which office furniture is able to assist in the more effective integration of technology and environment, specifically: correct of dysfunction; productivity improvement; responsiveness to change; compensation for building inadequacy and, organization development.