Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Kevin B. Bennett, Ph.D. (Advisor); Scott Watamaniuk, Ph.D. (Committee Member); John Flach, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Four interfaces were developed to factorially apply two principles of ecological interface design (EID; direct perception and direct manipulation) to a flexible manufacturing system (FMS). The theoretical foundation and concepts employed during their development, with findings related to more significant issues regarding interface design for complex socio-technical systems, are discussed. Key aspects of cognitive systems engineering (CSE) and EID are also discussed. An FMS synthetic task environment was developed, and an experiment was conducted to evaluate real-time decision support during supervisory operations. Participants used all four interfaces to supervise and maintain daily part production at systematically varied levels of difficulty across sessions. Significant results provide evidence that the incorporation of direct perception and direct manipulation in interface design produced an additive effect, allowing for greater support for the supervisory agents.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded