State School Nurse Consultant Tips
Diane Mennit (FL) shared the following based on a doctoral course she completed. The textbook for the course was McGonigle & Mastrian (refer to Courses, Primers, Overviews, and Texts above).
- Users must be an early and continuous focus during interface design. The term, user-centered design, describes the process of designing products (human-technology interfaces, for example) so that users can carry out the tasks needed to achieve their goals with minimal effort and maximal efficiency. Thus, the end user is emphasized. A number of analysis tools and techniques have been developed to help designers better understand the task and user environment, which include the following:
- Task analysis to define what human workers must do and what functions might be distributed between the worker and technology.
- Cognitive task analysis (CTA), which usually starts by identifying, through interviews or questionnaires, the particular task and its typicality and frequency. Analysts then may review the written materials that describe the job or are used for training and determine, through structured interviews or observing experts perform the task, what knowledge is involved and how that knowledge might be represented.
- Cognitive work analysis (CWA) was developed specifically for the analysis of complex, high technology work domains such as nuclear power plants, intensive care units, or emergency departments where workers need considerable flexibility in responding to external demands. A CWA includes five types of analysis: work domain, control tasks, strategies, social-organization, and worker competencies.
- The design process should be iterative, allowing for evaluation and correction of identified problems. Principles and techniques for developing human-technology interface include:
- Pay attention to both the environment and to the user and how they relate to each other.
- Simplify the structure of tasks. For example, reduce the number of steps and/or computer screens needed to accomplish the goal.
- Make things visible: bridge the Gulfs of Execution and Evaluation. Users need to be able to see how to use the technology to accomplish a goal.
- Get the mappings right. The term mapping describes how environmental facts are accurately depicted by the information presentation.
- Exploit the power of constraints, both natural and artificial. An example of constraint in the automobile is that you cannot start the car in reverse gear. Likewise, physical elements, social factors, and even organizational policy constrains how we accomplish tasks. By taking the constraints into account when designing technology, it can be made easier for humans to use.
- Design for error. Mistakes will always happen. So, technology should eliminate predictable errors…see the attached article by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA).
- This principle involves standard equipment, applications, programs, and/or operations with human-technology interface.
- Formal evaluation should take place using rigorous experimental and/or qualitative methods. The highest accolade that any interface can achieve is that it is transparent. An interface becomes transparent when it is so easy to use that users no longer think about it, but only about the task at hand.