An analytical usability method for alarm message evaluation: Alarm-ECW
Paper in proceedings, 2007

Alarm systems are important for safe and efficient operation of many technical systems. However, it is vital that the design of the alarms and the alarm system matches the conditions and needs of the human operator. Today, there is a shortage of suitable methods for evaluation of alarm signal and presentation usability. This paper presents a method, Alarm Enhanced Cognitive Walkthrough for evaluating the usability of an alarm. The Alarm-ECW method is a combination of Norman’s Seven Stages of Action, established guidelines for alarm design, and the usability evaluation method Enhanced Cognitive Walkthrough. The Alarm-ECW method works by a question process that evaluates the alarm step-wise in the search for usability problems. The Alarm-ECW has been used in the evaluation of alarms in dialysis machines where it has demonstrated deficiencies in existing alarms.

usability evaluation

alarm evaluation

Alarm signals


Lars-Ola Bligård

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design

Anna Thunberg

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design

Proceedings of the 39th Nordic Ergonomics Society Conference, Oct 1-3 2007, Lysekil, Sweden

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Human Computer Interaction

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