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Designing interfaces to encourage more intensive and effective cognitive processing

Patrick, John; Morgan, Phillip; Tiley, Leyanne; Smy, Victoria; Seeby, Helen


John Patrick

Phillip Morgan

Leyanne Tiley

Victoria Smy

Helen Seeby


Cognitive engineering aims to provide operators with immediate access to as much relevant information as possible. However, this can encourage display-based strategies that do not involve committing information to memory. To overcome this problem, a somewhat counterintuitive method is discussed, based upon the theory of soft constraints [1], that involves delaying access to some critical information by one or two seconds. This design technique induces a more planful and memory-based strategy that can improve recall, develop more planning behavior, improve problem solving, and protect against the negative effects of interruption. Furthermore, we provide some preliminary results that this more memory-intensive strategy can be trained through past experience with high access cost and then used in situations where access cost is minimal. This was the case when only half of the training trials involved a higher access cost. Further research is needed to ascertain how long training effects last and what are the ideal training regimes for different types of task.


Patrick, J., Morgan, P., Tiley, L., Smy, V., & Seeby, H. (2014, June). Designing interfaces to encourage more intensive and effective cognitive processing. Paper presented at The 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Crete, Greece

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name The 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Conference Location Crete, Greece
Start Date Jun 22, 2014
End Date Jun 27, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 255-264
Keywords cognitive engineering, display design, information access cost, adaptive cognition
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Best Paper Award: 11th International Conference on Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics.
Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Engineering Psychology & Cognitive Ergonomics: Lecture Notes in Computer Science