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A way of analyzing work that focuses on identifying the functional structure of the work domain with which a human operator will interact (rather than identifying tasks to be performed in the work domain). An analytic phase of cognitive work analysis.
visual working memory
A limited-capacity visual store that is distinct from verbal working memory. It is a core component of modern cognitive theory.
In the cognitive-dimensions framework, this is the ability to view components easily whenever necessary. See also juxtaposability.
In the cognitive-dimensions framework, this is “resistance to change.” A viscous system is one that requires many individual actions to achieve what is conceptualized as a single change. It is the opposite of fluidity. See the text for more details.
Many human activities incorporate computer applications. In human-computer interaction (HCI), the terms useand users are applied to the common properties of computer applications in work activity, and to the people who use computer applications as part of their daily practice. These terms are somewhat unfortunate, as the people rarely construe their own activity as computer use per se or see themselves primarily as users of computer equipment.
transfer of learning
A learning and memory phenomenon in which what is learned in one situation facilitates understanding and behavior in a similar situation.
An issue (often in design) that is understood to have competing arguments, usually positive and negative impacts of an option.
All human artifacts both enable and constrain human activity. Human use of current artifacts thus suggests possibilities and requirements for the design of future artifacts, which in turn will ultimately both enable and constrain human activity.
Any process that identifies and examines tasks that must be performed, either by users, other agents, or the system itself, to accomplish the goals of an interactive system.
syndetic modeling framework
A framework that looks at the interactions among different kinds of models—in particular, models of system behavior and models of human activity. See Barnard, May, Duke, and Duce (2000).