Focus Equals Efficacy



Focus Equals Efficacy

Tags: Dynamic Panel, Human-Centered Design, Axure

My Role: Research Assistant

Institute of Human Factors and Ergonomics, Sep 2016 - Dec 2016, Tsinghua University


The prototype looks into the need to avoid safety accidents caused by workers’ abstraction and tedium in the process of monitoring. It simulates the supervision environment in the electricity power plants. We , cooperated with Siemens, hoped to develop a more dynamic and interesting interface which could keep workers focusing on the screen, and reducing their reacting and processing time when there is an alert signal popping up. 


system design

System Description

The system consists of three types of dynamic panels. One is the control group, and the others are treatment groups. Treatment group A has a game section embedded in the panel, and treatment group B has a quiz section embedded at the same position. Our mission was to test the impact of different elements on users' reacting and processing time.

Each panel has three versions, which represents the iteration of our system design. The first version was a basic interface, showing only the processing time of a single process. The second version has an average processing time. And the third version has the average processing time and also the ranking of the user among all the other users. 


User Interaction Flow Chart

When the alert signal pops up, users have to click on one of the two buttons, process or ignore. When users click on process, which means that the alert is correctly processed, the screen goes back to the home screen. If the users click on ignore, the alert signal continues to pop up, and the whole processing time is recorded.  


Interface & Experimental Design

Key Features

Some key features of the dynamic panels are as follows:

work interface1.png
  • coding session -- simulates the monitor

  • a timer -- the experiment time of each user is 20 minutes

  • working interface

    • randomly popping up signal

    • process or ignore button

  • game/quiz session

  • average processing time

  • ranking


My effort focused on the programmatic and graphical design of the project. Some difficulties were how to let the alert signal pops up randomly, how to calculate the whole processing time, how to add a timer in the dynamic panel in Axure, etc. 


User Test Feedback

We recruited 72 students from different majors to take the user tests. We also asked about their feelings during the experiment through questionnaires. The final conclusion showed that our dynamic panel could help users focus on the screen, and shorten the reaction and processing time when there is an alert signal. And it also showed reacting differences between male and female.