Morgan & Claypool is proud to announce a new title in our series on
Human-Centered Informatics (HCI). We will be at CHI 2015 and welcome you to
visit the HCI publisher, Diane Cerra in our booth.
Core-Task Design: A Practice-Theory Approach to Human Factors
Leena Norris, VIT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Ltd.
Paula Savioja, VIT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Ltd.
Hanna Koskinen, VIT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Ltd.
ISBN (Print): 9781627055741
ISBN (eBook): 9781627055758
March 2015, 143 pages
This book focuses on design of work from the human-factors (HF) perspective.
In the approach referred to as Core-Task Design (CTD), work is considered
practice, composed of human actors, the physical and social environment, and
the tools used for reaching the actors' objectives. This book begins with
consideration of an industrial case, the modernization of a nuclear power
plant automation system, and the related human-system interfaces in the
control room. This case illustrates generic design dilemmas that invite one
to revisit human-factors research methodology: Human factors should adopt
practice as a new unit of analysis and should accept intervention as an
inherent feature of its methodology. These suggestions are put into practice
in the CTD approach, according to which three general design functions are
performed, those being:
. understand-to-generalize-empirical analysis of the work at hand,
. foresee-the-promise-creation of concepts for future work, and
. intervene-to-develop-participatory development and design of work.
For fulfillment fulfillment of each of the design functions, several CTD
methods are introduced. The methods are aimed at modeling the core task and
analyzing how the actors actually take the core task features into account
in order to achieve balance between potentially conflicting demands in
action. Thereby, new understanding of the core task is acquired. Further
methods focus on projecting the roles and functionality of technologies in
the future work and on implementing changes to the work. Specific studies of
the nuclear power plant's control-room renewal constitute an example
demonstrating a core task and the associated methods. We argue that the CTD
approach offers clear utility for the design of future technology, work, and
everyday services and environments.
CTD utilizes achievements of practice theory in the social sciences to
generate a creative synthesis of Cognitive Work Analysis, semiotic analysis
of practice, and the cultural-historical theory of activity. Core-Task
Design facilitates dialogue among human-factors experts, design engineers,
and end users in their joint development of work. The intended audience of
this book is students, researchers, and practitioners of human factors,
industrial art and design, and instrumentation and control-system design.
Series: Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informations
Series Editor: John M. Carroll, Penn State University
Use of this book as a course text is encouraged, and the texts may be
downloaded without restriction by members of institutions that have licensed
accessed to the Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer
Science or after a one-time fee of $20.00 each by members of non-licensed
schools. To find out whether your institution is licensed, visit <
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This book can also be purchased in print from Amazon and other booksellers
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