Voice Loops as Coordination Aids in Space Shuttle Mission Control

Cognitive Systems Engineering Laboratory, Institute for Ergonomics, The Ohio State University, USA.
Computer Supported Cooperative Work (Impact Factor: 0.82). 02/1999; 8(4):353-71. DOI: 10.1023/A:1008722214282
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Voice loops, an auditory groupware technology, are essential coordination support tools for experienced practitioners in domains such as air traffic management, aircraft carrier operations and space shuttle mission control. They support synchronous communication on multiple channels among groups of people who are spatially distributed. In this paper, we suggest reasons for why the voice loop system is a successful medium for supporting coordination in space shuttle mission control based on over 130 hours of direct observation. Voice loops allow practitioners to listen in on relevant communications without disrupting their own activities or the activities of others. In addition, the voice loop system is structured around the mission control organization, and therefore directly supports the demands of the domain. By understanding how voice loops meet the particular demands of the mission control environment, insight can be gained for the design of groupware tools to support cooperative activity in other event-driven domains.

Download full-text


Available from: David D Woods, Sep 29, 2015
123 Reads
  • Source
    • "We consciously chose the pedagogical approach of covering a smaller number of particularly representative examples in detail, rather than providing a comprehensive treatment. We did not cover some techniques that could very well be considered as examples of visual momentum (e.g., animated transitions between views) and did not discuss some excellent examples (Guerlain, 2007; McKenna et al., 2008; Patterson et al., 1999). As this review indicates clearly, techniques to increase visual momentum are often complementary in nature and can be applied in combination (e.g., long shot and fixed format data replacement in Fig. 1; long shot, and zoom þ pan in Fig. 2). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over 25 years ago Woods (1984) introduced the concept of visual momentum: the extent to which an interface supports a practitioner in transitioning between various information-seeking activities that are required for understanding and exploring work domains. Increasing visual momentum requires the consideration of a range of “cognitive couplings” that span all levels of the interface: between multiple screens, within individual screens, and within a display on a screen. Although the concept has been well received, we believe that its potential to improve the quality of human computer interaction may be under-appreciated. Our purpose in this review is to provide a better understanding of visual momentum: to provide concrete and diverse examples of its successful application, to review empirical findings, to refine and expand the original design techniques that were proposed, and to integrate diverse terms that appear across different research communities.
    International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 06/2012; 70(6):399–414. DOI:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2012.01.003 · 1.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "A number of relatively small-scale but very informative cognitive task analyses have been conducted (see, e.g. Klein 2001, Hoffman and Canãs 2003, Hutchins et al. 2007, Pirolli and Card 2005); there have been simulation studies (Patterson et al. 1999) and some objective experiments on the efficacy of analytic methods (Cheikes and Taylor 2003, Cheikes et al. 2004). The intelligence community's understanding of cognition has followed the wider scene in cognitive psychology. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We review the consensus of expert opinion concerning the psychology of intelligence analysis, as a form of critical thinking. This consensus details a number of ways in which the cognitive work is difficult. Many senior analysts have commented upon the requirements of intelligence analysis – the reasoning traps to which novices fall victim, and the required knowledge and skills of experts. There remain gaps in our understanding, not just because the research is classified. There simply has not been that much systematic research. If the empirical base were broadened, headway might be made in training and techniques to help analysts cope with difficulty. We hope that this article contributes by presenting an overview and rationale for empirical study of the cognitive ergonomics of intelligence analysis.
    Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science 04/2011; 214(12):225-240. DOI:10.1080/1464536X.2011.564484
  • Source
    • "In particular, attempts to change from manual, paperbased systems to electronic systems often fail due to a loss of core functionality. A common pattern in transitions from paper to electronic login-based systems is discovering a loss in the ability for personnel from other disciplines to " listen in " or " look over the shoulders " of primary users in order to facilitate cross-disciplinary coordination [14] [15]. On the other hand, innovations are sometimes adopted for surprising reasons , supporting functions that were previously not realized to be important (e.g., use of iPods by cardiology fellows to better identify heart sounds indicative of aortic or mitral stenosis [16]). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Electronic software packages to support patient tracking and disposition decision making in emergency departments (EDs) are being considered for implementation in many hospitals. We compared extent of use, information accuracy, and functions of manual and electronic patient status boards at 2 EDs where both were continuously in use. Ethnographic observations were conducted at 2 Veterans Affairs Medical Center Emergency Departments using both manual and electronic patient status boards (100 h, 9 physicians at Site 1; 64 h, 14 physicians at Site 2). Data included board information collected at 20-min intervals, observable behavior while using boards, and interviews. Few physicians (3/9 [33%] Site 1; 0/14 [0%] Site 2) used the e-board, whereas all physicians used the whiteboards. Whiteboards had fewer inaccuracies (6/462 [1%] Site 1; 21/864 [3%] Site 2) than e-boards (62/462 [13%] Site 1; 107/864 [12%] Site 2). The primary functions of the whiteboard were to track real-time changes to patient identifiers, locations, nursing assignments, and pending activities; facilitate patient handoffs; inform physicians and nurses about newly arrived patients assigned to them; inform nurses of physicians' orders; and inform physicians of the status of ordered items. The primary functions of the e-board were to support electronic data entry (by clerks) of patient admitting and departure times; and highlight patients who had been in the ED for longer than 6 h. Whiteboards were more extensively used and had greater information accuracy than e-boards. Nevertheless, e-boards provided functionality not easily achievable with whiteboards.
    International Journal of Medical Informatics 12/2010; 79(12):817-23. DOI:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2010.08.002 · 2.00 Impact Factor
Show more