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Open House Roma 2018 - Sguardo Laterale

Il 12 e 13 Maggio, parteciperemo alla manifestazione Open House Roma 2018 (OHR18) insieme alle altre realtà del mondo dell’innovazione e della comunicazione digitale che abitano OpenGRA. Il nostro motto per l’evento?! “L’essenziale è (in)visibile agli occhi”. Coinvolgeremo i visitatori dell’evento in un gioco interattivo, attraverso il quale mostreremo loro l’utilizzo dell’eye-tracker e le sue possibili applicazioni. Insomma, presenteremo a tutti il nostro modo di vedere la UX: cioè, attraverso gli occhi dei partecipanti.

Comparison of two biofeedback interfaces and their effect on gym exercise quality: A chest press case study

Il lavoro "Comparison of two biofeedback interfaces and their effect on gym exercise quality: A chest press case study", sviluppato in collaborazione con Technogym Spa e Sapienza Università di Roma, è stato accettato all'interno del congresso della International Ergonomics Association (Firenze, dal 26 al 30 agosto 2018).

Information and data visualisation studies have been mainly conducted in contexts where human performance was related to safety and productivity (e.g. signal detection in air traffic control) or where user experience was connected to revenues increase (e.g. e-commerce websites page layout and pictorial representations). Nowadays the pervasive digital transformation of consumer products has spread the presence of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) into domains where contextual characteristics may require specific (and still unavailable) ways for evaluating the interfaces. Gym equipment industry is facing this challenge by designing and introducing innovative advanced training interfaces (so called “virtual coaches”) aimed at assigning training sessions and providing guidance on optimum exercise modes. The understandability and usability of these biofeedback features (information about exercise status and guidance) can affect the inner quality of any gym workout. Therefore, we compared two different biofeedback on a ‘chest press machine’ analysing their role in defining the proper exercise execution. Fourteen participants were asked to perform a workout session in three different conditions: 1) without biofeedback; 2) with biofeedback "A" (linear pilot); 3) with biofeedback "B" (strength pilot). Availability of information for making predictions about the changes in the exercise frequency/duration is the main difference between A and B biofeedback types. Particularly, the information is provided consistently with the exercise mapping. Performance was evaluated using both objective and subjective metrics. Particularly, we recorded movements duration on both the concentric and eccentric phase (eccentric/concentric compared with the biofeedback pilot pace benchmark) and eye movements count/duration (compared with the subject ability of continuously follow the biofeedback pacer). Subjective evaluations were carried out using usability and satisfaction questionnaires. Although conducted on a small sample, results showed a tendency towards statistical significance between the interfaces. Namely, three basic highlights can be made for further investigations:

  • Biofeedback GUI affects the quality of a training;
  • Biofeedback allowing predictions of the exercise pace (version "B") performs better;
  • Metrics based on participants movements and their ocular behavior can be used as objective measures during assessment processes.

A Simple(r) Tool For Examining Fixations

Abbiamo presentato il lavoro “A Simple(r) Tool For Examining Fixations”, sviluppato insieme alla Sapienza Università di Roma, all’interno della quarta uscita del 2016 del Journal of Eye Movement Research (JERM).
This short paper describes an update of A Simple Tool For Examining Fixations (ASTEF) developed for facilitating the examination of eye-tracking data and for computing a spatial statistics algorithm that has been validated as a measure of mental workload (namely, the Nearest Neighbor Index: NNI). The code is based on Matlab® 2013a and is currently distributed on the web as an open-source project. This implementation of ASTEF got rid of many functionalities included in the previous version that are not needed anymore considering the large availability of commercial and open-source software solutions for eye-tracking. That makes it very easy to compute the NNI on eye-tracking data without the hassle of learning complicated tools. The software also features an export function for creating the time series of the NNI values computed on each minute of the recording. This feature is crucial given that the spatial distribution of fixations must be used to test hypotheses about the time course of mental load.

Mental workload assessment using eye-tracking glasses in a simulated maritime scenario

In occasione del meeting annuale della Human Factors and Ergonomic Society - Europe Chapter del 2015, abbiamo presentato il paper “Mental workload assessment using eye-tracking glasses in a simulated maritime scenario” che presenta parte delle attività che abbiamo svolto all’interno del progetto di ricerca europeo “CyClaDeS - Crew-centered Design and Operations of Ships and Ship Systems”.

The primary goal of this study was the assessment of maritime operators’ mental workload in simulation scenarios designed for containing typical traffic situations to be handled by officers during usual routine ship navigation. Taskload was manipulated throughout the sessions to analyse changes in ocular activity during complexity peaks. Specifically, it was tested the viability of implementing a dynamic analysis of eye movements collected through eye tracking glasses (while the operator was freely moving on the bridge) and using the distribution of eye fixations as an indicator of mental workload. Another objective of the present study was to assess the relation between attentional control and the mental workload as perceived by the operators. Results showed that the distribution of eye fixations changed with taskload and that individuals showing high attentional control reported low workload. Furthermore, frequent eye movement transitions have been found between the instruments monitored, suggesting that the information they provide could most usefully be integrated for improving the operators’ performance.

UX Test MyRun

Abbiamo valutato la qualità dell’interazione cognitiva col prodotto MyRun attraverso dei test di usabilità "task based" svolti con un campione di utenti reali. I partecipanti al test hanno indossato un dispotivo di Eye-tracking che ci ha permesso di registrare l’audio, il punto di vista (POV) e il movimento oculare sovrapposto allo scenario visivo di ogni singola sessione. l'attività di valutazione è stata strutturata in modo da ottenere metriche oggettive (misurate dal nostro team attraverso l'osservazione e/o rilevazione strumentale) e soggettive (attraverso giudizi espressi dagli utenti):

  • Efficacia
  • Efficienza
  • Facilità d'uso
  • Comprensibilità
  • Gradevolezza estetica
  • Utilità percepita
  • Propensione all'acquisto

Sale di controllo ferroviario Human-Centred

Su incarico di Bombardier Transportation Italy SpA stiamo portando avanti un progetto R&D innovativo per l’applicazione di metodi (e.g. Human-Centred Design) e strumenti (e.g. Eye-tracking) ergonomici per l’analisi e l’ottimizzazione dell’interazione fisica e cognitiva uomo-macchina-sistema all’interno delle sale di controllo ferroviario.
Questo al fine di realizzare postazioni di lavoro e interfacce grafiche che garantiscano una crescente:

  • Efficacia (e.g. riduzione degli errori).

  • Efficienza (e.g. diminuzione dei tempi di esecuzione delle operazioni).

  • Tutela/benessere del lavoratore e della sicurezza operativa (e.g. stress lavoro-correlato, posture).

  • Accettabilità delle nuove tecnologie (e.g. sistemi di automazione).

Nella conduzione del progetto ci stiamo avvalendo della collaborazione dei partner ErgoCert (Ente di certificazione per l’ergonomia spin-off dell'Università di Udine) e LAFC (Laboratorio di Analisi Funzionale del Comportamento - Università Sapienza).

Keep calm and don’t move a muscle: Motor restlessness as an indicator of mental workload

In occasione del meeting annuale della Human Factors and Ergonomic Society - Europe Chapter del 2013, abbiamo presentato il paper “Keep calm and don’t move a muscle: Motor restlessness as an indicator of mental workload” che presenta parte delle attività che abbiamo svolto all’interno del progetto di ricerca europeo “CyClaDeS - Crew-centered Design and Operations of Ships and Ship Systems”.

Subtle motor activity of the gluteal muscles and legs of the operator sitting in a chair can be obtained by using capacity sensors applied to the seat itself, thus making viable to easily record variations in motor restlessness during the execution of a task. The present study was aimed at studying the relation between variations in mental workload and variations in motor activity that are unrelated to the task to perform. Preliminary results from a laboratory study employing behavioural, ocular, subjective and motor measures show that motor restlessness can be considered as a promising indicator that can be usefully integrated in any data collection procedure for assessing the operator functional state.

CyClaDeS - Crew-centered Design and Operations of Ships and Ship Systems

Facciamo parte del consorzio di 14 paesi europei che, nell'ambito del 7° programma quadro, sta sviluppando il progetto CyClaDes per promuovere e integrare gli aspetti connessi allo Human Factors tanto nelle fasi di progettazione delle unità navali quanto nel loro ciclo di vita (e.g. governo, manutenzione, formazione degli equipaggi). Nello specifico stiamo sviluppando un sistema per la rilevazione in tempo reale del carico di lavoro mentale degli ufficiali di guardia attraverso l’analisi del movimento oculare, valutandone l’applicabilità rispetto al contesto marittimo e definendo una roadmap per la successiva eventuale implementazione in un contesto reale (es. per l’assessment dei sistemi di bordo o per l’adozioni in sistemi di automazione adattiva).

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Attraverso la conoscenza delle caratteristiche psico-fisiche degli utenti e lo studio dei loro comportamenti ed esigenze, supportiamo i nostri clienti nello sviluppare prodotti di consumo e professionali, ambienti lavorativi ed extralavorativi e servizi a misura d’uomo, al fine di renderli accessibili, sicuri, usabili e confortevoli.

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