Dear STEM student,
My name is Alma Emadi and I’m a Presidential scholar and a senior in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department. My team and I are conducting a research study in use and allocation of colors in designing displays. We are looking for graduate and undergraduate students in the science, technology, mathematics and engineering majors to take part in our experiment. Our experiment will be set up as a 15-minute information session followed by a 5-minute simulation game. . The whole procedure should not take more than 30 minutes and will be conducted in a convenient location on campus. We will schedule the experiment with our subject at a time of your convenience and will provide free delicious food to those who participate. We will not be collecting any personal data apart from gender and age and will not keep a separate link between our subjects and the acquired data. There are no physical risks associated with this experiment, and it should be relatively easy for you to do. Please help us by spreading the word in your department and between your friends. We would greatly appreciate your help!. If you want to read more about our research, you can read a short summary of it below this letter. Furthermore, if you’d like to get more information about it, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206)-501-6946. You can also schedule your participation appointment at: http://www.doodle.com/
i445dmq4mek377x8. If none of those times work for you, just email us and we will find another time that works for you.
Do you wonder how displays are classified and defined?
Displays in general are designed objects meant for communication and notification. The display design has become even more important as the necessity of such information communication increases, such as displays used in control rooms and in manufacturing systems. The ineffectiveness of such displays can lead the operator to be in one of the following situations: The operator will make a type-one error, where he/she falsely detects a signal, or the operator will make a type-two error, where he/she fails to detect the signal when the signal is actually present. Lastly, the operator will be under heavy stress and even though he/she might not make a mistake yet, the chances of such occurrence increase dramatically. While there have been many advancements in the physical configuration of displays, the use of color in designing such objects has not been studied excessively and there have been contradicting results in regard to the benefits of using colors in display design. Moreover, with regards to the selection of colors and allocating them on the display, no general solution exists.
What is this research about exactly?
This research will place an emphasis on finding a methodology for the use and allocation of colors in display design and will be an innovative contribution to the field of display design and, more generally, human factors engineering. Our research question is divided into two parts. The first part is that we will determine if incorporating colors into displays is effective in reducing recognition time and increasing accuracy of signals. Secondly, we will investigate how colors should be allocated and successful methods of color-coding. Our research hypothesis is that use of colors will yield higher accuracy rate and lower detection time; however, we will weight accuracy more strongly than speed. In that matter, we believe that using colors as an additional tag of data will improve both priorities. The form our experiment would be similar to a short simulation game. We have designed a display using a simulation program called NetLogo. The display has multiple elements. It is programed in a way that would automatically simulate a thermodynamic reaction when activated. Users will be asked to detect the signals in a timely manner and respond to prompts appearing on the screen. The simulation game will record the time and accuracy of the responses. These data will be analyzed and conclusions will be drawn.
What am I asked to do exactly?
You will be asked to seat in front of a projected computer screen and a keyboard. You will be asked to monitor the screen and look for any signals, alarms, and commands appearing on the screen. A typical alarm would be a flashing red signal indicating that a value has gone over the accepted value. A typical signal would be a flashing light indicating a change in an indicated value, and a typical command would be a text based command appearing on the screen asking the subject to key in the value of a given element (e.g temperature valve) using the numerical keys on the keyboard. All the alarms and signals will be connected to an alphabetical key on the keyboard and will indicate that on the screen. You will only use the keyboard to enter the requested information. The simulation game will automatically record two data points for each signal, alarm, or signal. The first data point will be recording the time from signal initiation to signal detection by the user, and the second data point will record the accuracy of the input. This data point can have two different kinds of values: the first kind is for indicating whether or not the detected signal by the user was an actual signal or not (if it’s false alarm or not). The second type of data point will record the actual numerical value of the input the subject has given in response to a command from the simulation game. These data will not have identifying tags and will be only recording experiment number. These data will be kept on a flash drive that is password protected and will only be accessible by the investigators and the advising faculty. After the simulation game is done, we will ask you to take a very short survey about your experience and will ask you to provide us with your age, gender, and opinion about using colors in designing displays. This survey should not take more than 5 minutes to complete. After the survey you will be treated to some delicious food! We thank you in advance for helping us out and we hope you enjoy the experience.
Please note that if you have been diagnosed with color-blindness we will unfortunately be unable to accept you as a subject for this experiment.