In making big data more user-friendly with cognitive ergonomics | by Thomas Vato | December 2023

Cognitive ergonomics, a fancy term that sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel, is actually a real field of study. It is a branch of ergonomics that focuses on mind processes such as perception, memory, reasoning and motor response. Simply put, it’s the science of making our interactions with the world around us as smooth and effortless as possible.

Imagine you are in the cockpit of an airplane. The array of buttons, switches and dials can be overwhelming. If these controls are not designed with the pilot’s strengths in mind, it can lead to errors, accidents or even disasters. This is where cognitive ergonomics comes into play. It ensures that systems design aligns with our cognitive architecture, increasing performance and security.

Cognitive ergonomics examines how we interact with systems. It aims to reduce cognitive overload – the tension we feel when we try to process too much information at once.

By understanding how we perceive information, make decisions and respond to stimuli, cognitive ergonomics helps design systems that are intuitive and user-friendly.

Think of the smartphone you use every day; its design is the result of careful cognitive ergonomic consideration. As we constantly work with devices and software, cognitive ergonomics plays a key role in shaping our experience.

This is why some apps are more intuitive than others, why certain websites are easier to navigate, why certain products seem “right”. Cognitive ergonomics takes into account every detail from the size and color of buttons to the layout of information on the page, with the aim of making interactions smooth, efficient and fun.

Cognitive ergonomics connects human minds and the world of systems. It is the fundamental discipline that ensures that technology serves us instead of confusing us. It is a symphony of design and…

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