Temporal aspects in crisis management and its implications on interface design for situation awareness
Journal article, 2012
Temporality should be considered in the design of information technology support for crisis management (CM), both because crises are dynamic events and because time is a part of situation awareness (SA). This study has used group interviews to explore how different temporal aspects of CM can be considered in CM design and how they can influence crisis managers SA. A prototype and a scenario were used as mediating materials. The result consists of two parts. The first part is comprised of the participants' reflections on how timelines can be used to display information in CM information systems. According to the participants, timelines should present: deadlines, information sent to the public, incoming and outgoing information, an overview of where the current activities belong in the CM process and what has been going on since the last shift during shift changes. Timelines should not only display the listed information, but also provide functionality for adjusting the timescale so that information can be presented in alternative temporal perspectives. The second part of the result contains several obstacles that might influence the crisis managers' ability to obtain SA. Obstacles elicited from the group discussions are: information overflow, fast changes of SA due to incoming information, difficulties to share SA with actors outside the CM centre, forgetting things that need attention and that SA depends on the quality of incoming information. The two parts of the result have been compiled into six design principles for how temporality can be considered in CM systems in order to support SA.