DiCoT: a systematic approach to understanding complex socio-technical systems in terms of Distributed Cognition

Speaker:  Ann Blandford – London, United Kingdom
Topic(s):  Human Computer Interaction


Distributed Cognition (DCog) is a widely used approach to reasoning about group working and the design of artefacts within work systems. It has been applied particularly in safety-critical contexts such as transport, control rooms and healthcare. However, many projects making use of DCog appear to base their approach on craft skill, making it difficult for others to follow or replicate the analysis. DiCoT (Distributed Cognition for Teamwork) is a methodology and representational system to support DCog analysis of small team working. It draws on ideas from Contextual Design, but re-orients them towards the principles that are central to DCog. It can be used to reason about both the strengths and limitations of existing system designs, highlighting future design requirements. It can also be used to reason about proposed future designs in terms of the likely effects of new designs from a DCog perspective. The approach has been developed and tested in contexts including ambulance control, underground control, hospitals (intensive care, wards, and the operating theatre), and people’s homes (focusing on the design, implementation and use of home haemodialysis systems). In this talk, I will present the theory of DCog and the practice of conducting a DiCoT analysis, drawing on examples from a variety of technology-intensive contexts of working. 

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  35
Duration:  60 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

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