Contextual Inquiry in HCI: Lessons from Aeronautics

Sidney W. A. Dekker and James M. Nyce

Human-centered HCI systems can result if developers pay heed to the orientations, expectations, and understanding of the (end-)users. Contextual inquiry has emerged as one way since it can reveal what (computerized) work means to the practitioners who do it, but it needs to make the jump from the description and analysis of current working practice to a design language targeted at the future. In this paper we use three examples from studies into the use of flight strips in air traffic control for their ability to make this jump, extracting the lessons we still need to learn if we want to employ contextual inquiry as a tool in creating HCI systems.

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