Reducing Complexity with Simplicity - Usability Methods for Industry 4.0

Submitted by philipp on Wed, 08/19/2020 - 11:51
At RWTH Aachen University the research cluster “Production Technology for High-Wage Countries” engages in advancing the polylemma of production. In many cases engineers and physicists develop simulation tools, machine interfaces, and data exploration tools but lack essential training in Human- Computer Interaction. Without proper training the interaction of visual, cognitive and task complexity can lead to solutions that are valuable only to the developers themselves, but are not usable without extensive training. We show the most critical ergonomic factors for developing software in a scientific engineering setting that focus on complex problems. We present an overview of usability methods as well as complexity reduction methods and their applicability in engineering software design. We present an exemplary study for the case of supply chain management, where the approaches were successfully integrated into a serious game not only serving as an investigatory tool but also as a training utility for supply chain managers.
Practitioner Summary: This overview aims to be used as an entry point for engineers interested in usability and its applicability from a simulations and visualizations point of view. Factors that create complexity and how they can be reduced are presented. Usability methods are evaluated in regard to their applicability.
Calero Valdez, A., Brauner, P., Schaar, A.K., Holzinger, A., Ziefle, M.: Reducing Complexity with Simplicity - Usability Methods for Industry 4.0. In: 19th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2015). Melbourne, Australia (2015).
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