chapter  49
14 Pages

System cognitive function specification: the next steps

Traditional Ergonomics had more to do with Anthropometries and Biomechanics than with cognition, more to do with determining human constraints on the system design rather than considering the human contribution to system functionality and performance. Moreover, Ergonomics was generally applied late in the design life cycle compared to the contributions of most other disciplines involved in the engineering of systems. The evidence of the inadequacy of current Ergonomic

approaches, and their generally poor understanding of the substance and problems inherent with the new technologies, contributes to a danger of increasing failures in projects or the design of systems where safety in operation is uncertain. In contrast, non-traditional Ergonomics, or Engineering Psychology, has diverse approaches within differing contexts. For example, the control of avionics systems (MacLeod, 1997), systems design (MacLeod, 1998a), and the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the UK Safer Cities Programme (Law, 1997). In spite of diversity, a common ground has been found in UK Engineering Psychology on the importance to software and systems design of SCFs.