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Improving performance on procedural tasks through presentation of locational procedure context: an empirical evaluation

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Procedures in some form are used in almost all work domains to guide and define work. Using new small electronic devices, task guidance systems can be developed that change how workers follow and use procedures. The capability of task guidance systems to store large amounts of information in a small physical space allows for a single system to provide guidance for various tasks in a mobile environment. However, task guidance systems often have small information displays. Preliminary studies have shown that this drawback can impede task performance by causing a blind adherence to the presented procedures. To mitigate this effect, we examined the impact of presenting locational procedure context, in order to portray procedure steps within the larger organization of the procedure. The study examined the relationship between locational procedure context and task performance for the task of preflight inspection of a general aviation aircraft using wearable-computer task guidance systems. Results of the study suggest that the presentation of locational procedure context improves inspection performance by one measure but was not effective for another measure, and also provides some evidence that the medium on which a procedure is presented is not a factor in performance.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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