A Comparison of Alphanumeric, Direct Manipulation Graphic, and Equivalent Interface Design for a Production Scheduling Task
Scheduling is an essential factor influencing the efficiency of any production system. The effectiveness of the scheduling system depends upon the interaction of the human and machine. Thus, to effectively design the interface between the human and the machine, the human factors professional must understand scheduling behavior and the information requirements of the scheduling task. The present study modeled human scheduling behavior and determined the information requirements of the scheduling
... s of the scheduling task. The study also compared alphanumeric, direct manipulation graphic, and equivalent interfaces to determine which interface best supports scheduling. The results of the study show that schedulers monitor the current system state and preview to future system states to test scheduling options and make scheduling decisions. Thus, current state, goal state, future state, and discrepancy between goal state and future state information help schedulers. In addition, the analysis suggests that a mixed format interface design best supports the human in the scheduling system. Recommendations for interface design and future research are discussed.