Author: Alberti, V.
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THAPL03 Usability Recommendations for the SKA Control Room Obtained by a User-Centred Design Approach 1084
  • V. Alberti
    INAF-OAT, Trieste, Italy
  • G. Brajnik
    IDS, Udine, Italy
  Funding: INAF
User-Centered Design is a powerful approach for designing UIs that match and satisfy users' skills and expectations. Interviews, affinity diagrams, personas, usage scenarios are some of the fundamental tools for gathering and analysing relevant information. We applied these techniques to the development of the UI for the control room of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescopes. We interviewed the personnel at two of the SKA precursors, LOFAR and MeerKAT, with the goal of understanding what features satisfy operators' needs and which ones can be improved. What was learned includes several usability issues dealing with fragmentation and low cohesiveness of the UIs, some gaps, and an excessive number of user actions needed to achieve certain goals. Low usability of the UI and the large scale of SKA are two challenges in developing its UI because they affect the extent to which operators can focus on important data, the likelihood of human errors and their consequences. This paper illustrates the followed method, provides examples of some of the artefacts that were produced and describes and motivates the resulting usability recommendations which are specific for SKA.
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