25 Jan Cognitive Engineering
Increasing automation of manufacturing has changed the relationship between workers and the technology employed to get work done. Cognitive work is replacing manual labour. Established productivity improvement methods need to comprehend increased complexity, less tractable processes and a workforce where expertise is a differentiator of outcomes (Gleeson et al, 2019).
Cognitive engineering offers a principled approach to the design and development of human-centered systems. The cognitive engineering process integrates an analysis of the cognitive and collaborative demands of a user engaged in work with an iterative design, implementation, and evaluation approach to developing support tools.
Cognitive engineering integrates an analysis of the cognitive and collaborative demands of a user engaged in work with an iterative design, implementation, and evaluation approach to developing support tools. A guiding tenet of cognitive engineering is that an understanding of the characteristics of the users and the context of work should be central drivers for the specification of the entire system design and not just the ‘‘user interface.’’ Some questions that drive design in a human-centered system engineering approach include:
- What are the goals and constraints in the application domain?
- What range of tasks do domain practitioners perform?
- What strategies do they use to perform these tasks today?
- What factors contribute to task complexity?
- What social and interactive patterns occur in the domain of practice?
- What tools can be provided to facilitate the work of domain practitioners and help them achieve their goals more effectively?
Cognitive engineering methods generally entail a multi-phase, iterative design approach that includes a cognitive analysis phase, a concept development and prototyping phase, and a user evaluation phase. The cognitive analysis phase typically employs knowledge acquisition methods, such as interviews of domain practitioners and observations of work in context (Pfautz & Roth, 2006).
- Gleeson, F., Coughlan, P., Goodman, L., Newell, A., Hargaden, V. (2019). “Improving manufacturing productivity by combining cognitive engineering and lean-six sigma methods”.Procedia CIRP, 81 (2019), 641–646.
- Pfautz, J., Roth, E. (2006). “Using cognitive engineering for system design and evaluation: A visualization aid for stability and support operations”. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Volume 36, Issue 5, Pages 389-407.