Ergonomics is an international multi-disciplinary refereed journal with a 50 year tradition of publishing excellence. The journal reports research results on psychological, physiological, anatomical, and engineering design aspects of ergonomics, and is particularly concerned with optimizing system performance and safety, health and well-being. Research data from both developed and developing countries is reported. As well as peer-reviewed scientific papers, the journal features lively book reviews.
Wang, Ying, Mehler, Bruce, Reimer, Bryan, Lammers, Vincent, D'Ambrosio, Lisa and Coughlin, Joseph F. (2010): The validity of driving simulation for assessing differences between in-vehicle informational interfaces: A comparison with field testing. In Ergonomics, 11 (4) pp. 404-420.
Data from on-road and simulation studies were compared to assess the validity of measures generated in the simulator. In the on-road study, driver interaction with three manual address entry methods (keypad, touch screen and rotational controller) was assessed in an instrumented vehicle to evaluate relative usability and safety implications. A separate group of participants drove a similar protocol in a medium fidelity, fixed-base driving simulator to assess the extent to which simulator measures mirrored those obtained in the field. Visual attention and task measures mapped very closely between the two environments. In general, however, driving performance measures did not differentiate among devices at the level of demand employed in this study. The findings obtained for visual attention and task engagement suggest that medium fidelity simulation provides a safe and effective means to evaluate the effects of in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) designs on these categories of driver behaviour. Statement of Relevance: Realistic evaluation of the user interface of IVIS has significant implications for both user acceptance and safety. This study addresses the validity of driving simulation for accurately modelling differences between interface methodologies by comparing results from the field with those from a medium fidelity, fixed-base simulator.
Mandal, A. C. (1976): Work chair with tilting seat. In Ergonomics, 19 (3) pp. 157-....
Card, Stuart K., English, William K. and Burr, Betty J. (1978): Evaluation of mouse, rate controlled isometric joystick, step keys, and text keys for text selection on a CRT. In Ergonomics, 21 pp. 386-392.
Lin, Mei-Li, Radwin, Robert G. and Vanderheiden, Gregg C. (1992): Gain Effects on Performance Using a Head-Controlled Computer Input Device. In Ergonomics, 35 pp. 159-175.
Hoffmann, Errol R. (1992): Fitts' Law with Transmission Delay. In Ergonomics, 35 pp. 37-48.
Reid, Fraser J. M., Malinek, Vlastimil, Stott, Clifford J. T. and Evans, Jonathan ST. B. T. (1996): The messaging threshold in computer-mediated communication. In Ergonomics, 39 (8) pp. 1017-1037.
This study examines the effects of text-based computer-mediated communication on group interaction. Fourteen four-person teams were trained to use a networked computer system to produce a sequence of written reports either face-to-face (FTF), or from separate locations using a computer-mediated communication (CMC) system. Results showed that CMC teams took longer to complete their work, but produced reports of equivalent quality to FTF teams. Comparisons of interaction processes revealed a shortfall of social-emotional reactions and task-oriented requests in CMC interactions, but an increase in ingroup-oriented exchanges. Results are interpreted as evidence of a messaging threshold in CMC, in which the decision to send a message depends on the urgency and relevance of the message in relation to the costs associated with its communication. Implications of this threshold for understanding social interaction in CMC groups are discussed.
Hancock, Peter A. (1996): Effects of Control Order, Augmented Feedback, Input Device and Practice on Tracking Performance and Perceived Workload. In Ergonomics, 39 pp. 1146-1162.
Dowell, John and Long, John (1998): Conception of the Cognitive Engineering Design Problem. In Ergonomics, 41 (2) pp. 126-139.
Landstad, Bodil, Vinberg, Stig and Ivergard, Toni (2001): Change in pattern of absenteeism as a result of workplace intervention for personnel support. In Ergonomics, 44 (1) .
Liu, Yili (2003): Engineering aesthetics and aesthetic ergonomics: theoretical foundations and a dual-process research methodology. In Ergonomics, 46 (13) pp. 1273-1292.
Although industrial and product designers are keenly aware of the importance of design aesthetics, they make aesthetic design decisions largely on the basis of their intuitive judgments and "educated guesses". Whilst ergonomics and human factors researchers have made great contributions to the safety, productivity, ease-of-use, and comfort of human-machine-environment systems, aesthetics is largely ignored as a topic of systematic scientific research in human factors and ergonomics. This article discusses the need for incorporating the aesthetics dimension in ergonomics and proposes the establishment of a new scientific and engineering discipline that we can call "engineering aesthetics". This discipline addresses two major questions: How do we use engineering and scientific methods to study aesthetics concepts in general and design aesthetics in particular? How do we incorporate engineering and scientific methods in the aesthetic design and evaluation process? This article identifies two special features that distinguish aesthetic appraisal of products and system designs from aesthetic appreciation of art, and lays out a theoretical foundation as well as a dual-process research methodology for "engineering aesthetics". Sample applications of this methodology are also described.
Two methods to generate an individual 3D foot shape from 2D information
are proposed. A standard foot shape was first generated and then scaled
based on known 2D information. In the first method, the foot outline and the
foot height were used, and in the second, the foot outline and the foot profile
were used. The models were developed using 40 participants and then
validated using a different set of 40 participants. Results show that each
individual foot shape can be predicted within a mean absolute error of
1.36 mm for the left foot and 1.37 mm for the right foot using the first
method, and within a mean absolute error of 1.02 mm for the left foot and
1.02 mm for the right foot using the second method. The second method
shows somewhat improved accuracy even though it requires two images.
Both the methods are relatively cheaper than
Armbrüster, Claudia, Sutter, Christine and Ziefle, Martina (2007): Notebook input devices put to the age test: the usability of trackpoint and touchpad for middle-aged adults. In Ergonomics, 50 (3) pp. 426-445..
In two experiments, the usability of input devices integrated into computer notebooks was under study. The most common input devices, touchpad (experiment 1) and trackpoint (experiment 2) were examined. So far, the evaluation of mobile input devices has been restricted to younger users.
However, due to ongoing demographic change, the main target group of mobile devices will be older users. Therefore, the present study focused on ageing effects. A total of 14 middle-aged (40–65 years) and 20 younger (20–32 years) users were compared regarding speed and accuracy of cursor control in a point-click and a point-drag-drop task. Moreover, the effects of training were addressed by examining the performance increase over time. In total, 640 trials per task and input device were executed. The results show that
ageing is a central factor to be considered in input device design. Middle-aged users were significantly slower than younger users when executing the different tasks. Over time, a significant training effect was observed for both devices and both age groups, although the benefit of training was greater for the middle-aged group. Generally, the touchpad performance was higher than the trackpoint performance in both age groups, but the age-related performance decrements were less distinct when using the touchpad.
In a simulated aircraft navigation task, a fusion technique known as triangulation
was used to improve the accuracy and onscreen availability of location information
from two separate radars. Three experiments investigated whether the reduced
cognitive processing required to extract information from the fused environment led
to impoverished retention of visual–spatial information. Experienced pilots and
students completed various simulated flight missions and were required to make a
number of location estimates. Following a retention interval, memory for locations
was assessed. Experiment 1 demonstrated, in an applied setting, that the retention of
fused information was problematic and Experiment 2 replicated this finding
under laboratory conditions. Experiment 3 successfully improved the retention of
fused information by limiting its availability within the interface, which it is argued,
shifted participants’ strategies from over-reliance on the display as an external
memory source to more memory-dependent interaction. These results are discussed
within the context of intelligent interface design and effective human–machine
Moshagen, Morten, Musch, Jochen and Göritz, Anja S (2009): A blessing, not a curse: experimental evidence for beneficial effects of visual aesthetics on performance. In Ergonomics, 52 (10) pp. 1311-1320.
The present experiment investigated the effect of visual aesthetics on performance. A total of 257 volunteers completed a series of search tasks on a website providing health-related information. Four versions of the website were created by manipulating visual aesthetics (high vs. low) and usability (good vs. poor) in a 2 x 2 between-subjects design. Task completion times and error rates were used as performance measures. A main effect of usability on both error rates and completion time was observed. Additionally, a significant interaction of visual aesthetics and usability revealed that high aesthetics enhanced performance under conditions of poor usability. Thus, in contrast to the notion that visual aesthetics may worsen performance, visual aesthetics even compensated for poor usability by speeding up task completion. The practical and theoretical implications of this finding are discussed.
Thielsch, Meinald T. and Hirschfeld, Gerrit (2010): High and low spatial frequencies in website evaluations. In Ergonomics, 53 (8) pp. 972-978.
Which features of websites are important for users’ perceptions regarding aesthetics or usability? This study investigates how evaluations of aesthetic appeal and usability depend on high vs. low spatial frequencies. High spatial frequencies convey information on fine details, whereas low spatial frequencies convey information about the global layout. Participants rated aesthetic appeal and usability of 50 website screenshots from different domains. Screenshots were either presented unfiltered, low-pass filtered with blurred targets, or high-pass filtered with high-pass filtered targets. The main result is that low spatial frequencies can be seen to have a unique contribution in perceived website aesthetics, thus confirming a central prediction from processing fluency theory. There was no connection between low spatial frequencies and usability evaluations, whereas strong correlations were found between ratings of high-pass filtered websites and those of unfiltered websites in aesthetics and usability. This study thus offers a new perspective on the biological basis of users’ website perceptions.