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Testing the effectiveness of icons for supporting distributed team decision making under time pressure

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3 Author(s)
Adelman, L. ; Dept. of Syst. Eng. & Oper.s Res., George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA, USA ; Miller, S.L. ; Yeo, C.

There has been minimal experimentation testing the effectiveness of icons (or interface features in general) on distributed team decision making. To overcome this deficiency, an experiment tested the effectiveness of a "send" icon to remind team members to send information to their teammates, and a "receive" icon to tell them when they had received information, for a simulated, military task. As predicted, the "send" icon was effective in maintaining information flow, particularly when time pressure was high and simulated teammates sent less information, because it reduced memory burden and supported proactive behavior. The "receive" icon was only effective in supporting decision accuracy when time pressure was low. As time pressure increased, participants' with the "receive" icon increasingly used a strategy of making decisions before reading the most important information, completely counter to expectations. These results illustrate the subtle, sometimes surprising way task characteristics (e.g., time pressure) can affect participants' strategies and, thereby, ify the positive effect of displays on performance. The experiment also examined other task characteristics and working memory capacity, and showed how the lens model equation (LME) helped explain all effects on decision accuracy.

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 2 )