Designing for Situation Awareness: An Approach to User-Centered Design, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Designing for Situation Awareness

An Approach to User-Centered Design, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Mica R. Endsley

CRC Press

396 pages | 16 Color Illus. | 146 B/W Illus.

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The barrage of data overload is threatening the ability of people to effectively operate in a wide range of systems including aircraft cockpits and ground control stations, military command and control centers, intelligence operations, emergency management, medical systems, air traffic control centers, automobiles, financial and business management systems, space exploration, and power and process control rooms. All of these systems need user interfaces that allow people to effectively manage the information available to gain a high level of understanding of what is currently happening and projections on what will happen next. They need systems designed to support situation awareness.

Addressing the information gap between the plethora of disorganized, low-level data and what decision makers really need to know, Designing for Situation Awareness: An Approach to User-Centered Design, Second Edition provides a successful, systematic methodology and 50 design principles for engineers and designers seeking to improve the situation awareness of their systems' users based on leading research on a wide range of relevant issues.

See what’s new in the Second Edition:

  • Significantly expanded and updated examples throughout to a wider range of domains New Chapters: Situation Awareness Oriented Training and Supporting SA in Unmanned and Remotely Operated Vehicles
  • Updated research findings and expanded discussion of the SA design principles and guidelines to cover new areas of development

Mica R. Endsley is a pioneer and world leader in the study and application of situation awareness in advanced systems. Debra G. Jones work is focused on designing large-scale and complex systems to support situation awareness and dynamic decision making. Completely revised and updated, liberally illustrated with actual design examples, this second edition demonstrates how people acquire and interpret information and examines the factors that undermine this process. Endsley and Jones distill their expertise and translate current research into usable, applicable methods and guidelines.

Table of Contents

Understanding Situation Awareness in System Design

User-Centered Design

Who Is This Book For?

Why Do We Need User-Centered Design?

What Does User-Centered Design Mean?

Principles for User-Centered Design

Situation Awareness: The Key to User-Centered Design

What Is Situation Awareness?

SA Defined

Time as a Part of SA

Situation Awareness as a Product of the Process

Perception and Attention

Working Memory

Mental Models, Schema, and Scripts

Goals and SA


Automaticity and SA


SA Demons: The Enemies of Situation Awareness

Attentional Tunneling

Requisite Memory Trap

Workload, Anxiety, Fatigue, and Other Stressors

Data Overload

Misplaced Salience

Complexity Creep

Errant Mental Models

Out-of-the-Loop Syndrome


Design Process

Systems Development Life Cycle

User Interface Design Process

Situation Awareness-Oriented Design

Creating Situation Awareness-Oriented Designs

Determining SA Requirements

Goal-Directed Task Analysis

Methodology Overview


Determining the Preliminary Goal Structure

Future Interviews

Interview Issues

Organizational Tips

GDTA Validation

Principles of Designing for SA

From Theory to Design

Case Study: SA-Oriented Design

Confidence and Uncertainty in SA and Decision Making


Types and Sources of Uncertainty

Role of Confidence in Linking SA and Decision Making

Management of Uncertainty

Design Principles for Representing Uncertainty

Dealing with Complexity

Simplified View of Complexity

Design Principles for Taming Complexity

Alarms, Diagnosis, and SA

An Alarming Practice

Processing Alarms in the Context of SA

Principles for the Design of Alarm Systems

Automation and Situation Awareness

Automation: A Help or a Hindrance?

Out-of-the-Loop Syndrome

Automation and Level of Understanding

Decision Support Dilemma

New Approaches to Automation

Principles for Designing Automated Systems

Designing to Support SA for Multiple and Distributed Operators

Team Operations

SA in Teams

What Is Shared SA?

Critical Factors Affecting SA in Teams

SA in Distributed Teams

SA Breakdowns in Teams

Design Principles for Supporting Team Operations

Unmanned and Remotely Operated Vehicles

Unmanned Vehicles for Many Uses

Classes of Unmanned Vehicle Control

Human Error in Unmanned Vehicle Operations

Situation Awareness Requirements for Unmanned Vehicle Operations

Challenges for SA in Remote Operations

Factors for Effective Design of Unmanned Vehicle Tasks and Systems


SA Oriented Training

Need for Training to Enhance SA

Challenges for Novices

Mental Models Form a Key Mechanism for Expertise

Schema of Prototypical Situations or Patterns

Critical Skills for SA

Examples of SA Deficits in Novices

Training Approaches for Improving Situation Awareness


Completing the Design Cycle

Evaluating Design Concepts for SA

Indirect Measures of Situation Awareness

Direct Measures of Situation Awareness

Measuring Team SA

Case Study


Applying SA-Oriented Design to Complex Systems

Combating the Enemies of Situation Awareness

SA-Oriented Design Synergy

System Evaluation

Future Directions

Appendix A: Goal-Directed Task Analysis for Commercial Airline Pilots



About the Originator

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety