Man, Technology and Organisation

Using eye tracking to explore design features in nuclear control room interfaces

Fernandes, A. , Renganayagalu, S.K. , Eitrheim, M.H.R.
In D. de Waard, A. Toffetti, R. Wiczorek, A. Sonderegger, S. Röttger, P. Bouchner, T. Franke, S. Fairclough, M. Noordzij, and K. Brookhuis (Eds.) (2017). Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Europe Chapter 2016 Annual Conference. ISSN 2333-4959 (online). Available from
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This study’s main goal was to analyse the impact of specific innovative design features in nuclear control room digital interfaces. A within-subject experimental approach was used, where the same participants responded to the same blocks of questions in two conditions: with innovative designs – including bar graphs, mini-trends, pie-charts, etc. – and a control condition where the same process information was presented through numerical information only. A simplified task was designed to collect the response time and accuracy through a tablet: the participants were presented with consecutive questions regarding the process status that required them to scan the process displays and report values of targeted components and decide on the accuracy of statements on current plant processes. Nine experienced operators participated and three wore eye tracking glasses. The current analysis focused on the questions that presented the larger differences between the control and the innovative conditions (both time and accuracy). The overall performance results reveal that the participants were more accurate in the innovative condition and showed equivalent response times in both conditions. The eye tracker enabled a further qualitative exploration of performance data, showing that dwell times and fixation counts tended to be lower in the innovative condition, and that average fixation duration were equivalent in both conditions.
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