Location to be decided.
During the last decades, the industry has been undergoing extensive digitization leading to complex ensembles of humans, machines, autonomous agents, and sensors. With this new setup comes the challenge of how to appropriately support work-practices of industrial operators who now need to monitor and control complex industrial processes through remote interfaces. Information overflow and restrictive interfaces are two significant problems that operators face in their daily routines. In this PhD, I explore approaches to visualization and interaction that would reduce industrial operators’ information load and enable them to perform their duties in an efficient, reliable, and safe manner. The industrial user and the context are the starting points of my research.
In this thesis, I describe multiple examples of custom-tailored data visualizations that reduce the operator’s visual load by consolidating large amounts of data into compact overview displays with often nontrivial data presentation. With respect to interaction, I propose several tangible and tactile interfaces, as well as concepts for natural interaction, that let the user freely interact with the control station rather than be its prisoner. Finally, I propose several concepts of adaptive systems that adjust to the operator’s context to ensure their high situational awareness and convenience of interaction.
Even though this thesis is primarily intended for the community of interaction designers, I expect it to be of interest to a broader audience due to its relation to the user experience field. To a certain extent, everyone can resonate with the user’s problems because, in our everyday life, we all are users of some technology and services. Furthermore, for a lay reader, this work lifts the veil of mystery from the industrial domain and can be seen as a comprehensive introduction to how the industry works and what role the human plays there.
Professor Virpi Roto, Aalto University
Professor Morten Fjeld, Chalmers
Docent Erik Prytz, LiU
Professor Thomas Porathe, NTNU Trondheim