Evaluating human-computer-interaction in crisis scenarios

Simon Nestler

The various processes in crisis management are uncertain, unstable and time-critical. In crisis scenarios the support of emergency workers by the means of interactive systems is challenging. Even smaller blind spots in the human-computer- interaction (HCI) might cause the unusability of the overall crisis management system. Therefore, regular usability testing of the overall system by emergency workers is essential in crisis scenarios. In crisis management usability tests are the foun- dation for the successful introduction of interactive systems. Usability tests in crisis situations are highly complex: The usa- bility tests have to be smoothly integrated in the crisis scenario. In crisis scenarios realism leads to an overproportional need for resources. This publication gives an overview on concepts for usability testing in crisis scenarios. These usability tests facilitate an iterative improvement of interactive systems. This concept is not limited to a methodical examination of the usability test itself. Usability testing is considered from HCI perspective and from the perspective of crisis management. This combined analysis leads to a more systematic approach to usability testing in crisis situations. The proposed approach increases the frequency of usability tests without increasing the overall effort.

Cite as: S. Nestler: Evaluating human-computer-interaction in crisis scenarios, i-com 13(1), ISSN 1618-162X, DOI: 10.1515/icom-2014-0008, pp 53-62, 2014

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