4 May 2017 Interface cloning and sharing: Interaction designs for conserving labor and maintaining state across 24X7 sensor operations teams
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Abstract
Processing remote sensing data is the epitome of computation, yet real-time collection systems remain human-labor intensive. Operator labor is consumed by both overhead tasks (cost) and value-added production (benefit). In effect, labor is taxed and then lost. When an operator comes on-shift, they typically duplicate setup work that their teammates have already performed many times. “Pass down” of state information can be difficult if security restrictions require total logouts and blank screens - hours or even days of valuable history and context are lost. As work proceeds, duplicative effort is common because it is typically easier for operators to “do it over” rather than share what others have already done. As we begin a major new system version, we are refactoring the user interface to reduce time and motion losses. Working with users, we are developing “click budgets” to streamline interface use. One basic function is shared clipboards to reduce the use of sticky notes and verbal communication of data strings. We illustrate two additional designs to share work: window copying and window sharing. Copying (technically, shallow or deep object cloning) allows any system user to duplicate a window and configuration for themselves or another to use. Sharing allows a window to have multiple users: shareholders with read-write functionality and viewers with read-only. These solutions would allow windows to persist across multiple shifts, with a rotating cast of shareholders and viewers. Windows thus become durable objects of shared effort and persistent state. While these are low-tech functions, the cumulative labor savings in a 24X7 crew position (525,000 minutes/year spread over multiple individuals) would be significant. New design and implementation is never free and these investments typically do not appeal to government acquisition officers with short-term acquisition-cost concerns rather than a long-term O and M (operations and maintenance) perspective. We share some successes in educating some officers, in collaboration with system users, about the human capital involved in operating the systems they are acquiring.
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John H. Ganter, John H. Ganter, Paul C. Reeves, Paul C. Reeves, } "Interface cloning and sharing: Interaction designs for conserving labor and maintaining state across 24X7 sensor operations teams ", Proc. SPIE 10190, Ground/Air Multisensor Interoperability, Integration, and Networking for Persistent ISR VIII, 101900N (4 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2266983; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2266983
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