Foto: Lasse Thomasgård.

Foto: Lasse Thomasgård.

Interaction design for complex systems relies on comprehensive understanding of the user’s experience. Perception, interpretation and actions are dependent on the user’s particular social and physical circumstances. When designers investigate premises and possibilities for interaction between users and technology, the analysis of the situation is crucial to interpret the user’s actions. So fare, little research has been conducted on what knowledge interaction designers need to design for situated interaction across complex systems used in complex user situations.

Ship bridges have an extensive use of complex and detached systems, often resulting in poor usability and lack of an overall architecture for user experience. Mariners deals with highly varying situations while on duty. Changes often come sudden. Complicated operations, navigation in various waters, communicational dependencies, changing environmental conditions and occasionally high risk-level make their need for situational adaptability within technology extensive. A situational design approach may improve user´s performance within high risk domains, such as on ship bridges, by supplying systems options and information that are relevant for the mariners in the current situation. Thus, it may ultimately improve safety by enhancing their situation awareness and decision making.

This project investigates how designers can explore, analyse and conceptualize the knowledge needed to design for situated interaction. The arctic ship bridge is used as case. Augmented reality (AR) is used as premise giving technology platform for the research. AR-glasses offers highly situated qualities, like freedom of movement and the possibility to remonitor existing bridge systems by flexible placement of options and information into the user’s world. Through participatory action research in the design team of the SEDNA research project, I will participate in development and testing of design prototypes for ship bridges in AR aiming to let the users interact situationally. I will further investigate how to build a framework for situated interaction that may support practicing interaction designers facing similar challenges. Field studies at sea will pose a substantial role in the research with a two-fold purpose. First, I will investigate premises and possibilities for situated interaction on particular ship bridges. Secondly, I will investigate how designers methodically may conduct field research in order to reveal and analyse the knowledge needed to design for situated interaction.

Institute of Design / Kjetil Nordby (Supervisor)

PhD started in 2017