Nikkei Shaken By HCI Errors

9 Dec 2005 - 2:46pm
8 years ago
6 replies
392 reads
Robert Cornejo
2004

http://tinyurl.com/b6z9y

"The trouble began Thursday morning, when a trader at
Mizuho Securities tried to sell 610,000 shares at 1
yen (less than a penny) apiece of a job recruiting
firm called J-Com Co., which was having its public
debut on the exchange.

It had actually intended to sell 1 share at 610,000
yen ($5,041).

Worse still, the number of shares in Mizuho's order
was 41 times the number of J-Com's outstanding shares,
but the Tokyo Stock Exchange processed the order
anyway.

Mizuho says another trader tried to cancel the order
three times, but the exchange said it doesn't cancel
transactions even if they are executed on erroneous
orders."

Reminds me of the story of the San Jose Police
software problems.
http://tinyurl.com/7gc73

How long before there's an update to the thinking
behind 508 and we have a minimum requirement for
public use software?

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Comments

9 Dec 2005 - 3:45pm
Marijke Rijsberman
2004

I had the privilege (misfortune?) of going for a little ride in a San Jose
PD cruiser that was equipped with a computer like the one shown in the
article Robert references. It's pretty scary to get a lift from someone who
is operating a complex computer interface while driving 40mph on busy city
streets.

It made me realize that I've never read anything in the professional
literature about designing to accommodate the focus of the user's attention,
even though a divided focus can make it virtually impossible to interact
with an interface (safely) or to continue other activities in parallel
safely. Even if this particular interface were simple to use, it can't be
operated by feel, which highway safety demands.

I've seen similar problems in other projects since then, where the design
simply ignored what the user's visual focus needed to be. One simple example
was a TV remote in which the number pad was used to enter characters in a
search field on the TV screen. The search feature relied on autocomplete to
make entry easier. However, users never saw the autocomplete functionality,
never saw that they had already found the thing they were looking for
because they were so busy looking at the remote while entering characters.

Marijke

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Robert
Cornejo
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 11:46 AM
To: discuss at ixdg.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Nikkei Shaken By HCI Errors

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

http://tinyurl.com/b6z9y

"The trouble began Thursday morning, when a trader at
Mizuho Securities tried to sell 610,000 shares at 1
yen (less than a penny) apiece of a job recruiting
firm called J-Com Co., which was having its public
debut on the exchange.

It had actually intended to sell 1 share at 610,000
yen ($5,041).

Worse still, the number of shares in Mizuho's order
was 41 times the number of J-Com's outstanding shares,
but the Tokyo Stock Exchange processed the order
anyway.

Mizuho says another trader tried to cancel the order
three times, but the exchange said it doesn't cancel
transactions even if they are executed on erroneous
orders."

Reminds me of the story of the San Jose Police
software problems.
http://tinyurl.com/7gc73

How long before there's an update to the thinking
behind 508 and we have a minimum requirement for
public use software?

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com
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9 Dec 2005 - 4:21pm
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Robert Cornejo wrote:
> How long before there's an update to the thinking
> behind 508 and we have a minimum requirement for
> public use software?
>
In at least one public-use domain - Aviation - such standards do exist.
Interestingly, aviation does a lot better than 508, which only seems to
be useful inasmuch as its prescripts are objective and testable.

In aviation, all equipment has to be certified by a regulatory authority
(the FAA in the US), and that certification involves extensive testing
of the equipment by an airworthiness engineer. These airworthiness
engineers are ex-pilots who have had to undergo extensive training to
understand all of the technical and in-use requirements for flight, and
they are responsible for evaluating how well a given piece of equipment
will fit into the overall cockpit workflow.

The point is - for public systems, guidelines are not enough. If poorly
executed systems are deemed to be a threat to the public it is important
that regulatory systems be put in place to 'certify' that an IT solution
does what it is supposed to without incurring unacceptable risks of
error. In addition, the implementation needs to be certified - probably
by using things like the Capability Maturity Model, or some equivalent
of the software processes called up in Military procurement.

In sum - the solution is people and processes, not guidelines. And,
there is a pattern out there - aviation - that any other domain can
learn from.

Regards,
-Gerard

9 Dec 2005 - 4:27pm
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Marijke Rijsberman wrote:
> It made me realize that I've never read anything in the professional
> literature about designing to accommodate the focus of the user's attention,
> even though a divided focus can make it virtually impossible to interact
> with an interface (safely) or to continue other activities in parallel
> safely. Even if this particular interface were simple to use, it can't be
> operated by feel, which highway safety demands.
>
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but again you should check out the
Human Factors literature on aviation. Divided attention is an important
concern in that literature. Look up, for example, research on
Heads-Up-Displays. Ensuring that operators' attention doesn't drift
where it shouldn't (like from the outside world to the projected
display) is a major concern of this literature.

This concern also comes front and centre in the design of alarms for the
cockpit. Here, extensive research has been done to help designers to
design appropriate visual and auditory alarms that will hijack
operators' attention in appropriate ways.

To access the literature on this topic, you should start with C. D.
Wickens' "Engineering Psychology and Human Performance".

Regards,
-Gerard

9 Dec 2005 - 4:38pm
PetraLynn
2005

And speaking of aviation, I would like to add that over the last 100
years, "target fixation" has been a real problem: from fighter
aircraft to large passenger jets, pilots and crew have flown into the
ground more often then one would think possible. It happens often in
small planes during routine flight training, fortunately, most of the
time, the flight instructor catches the problem--then again, sometime
not.

P
On Dec 9, 2005, at 3:27 PM, Gerard Torenvliet wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Marijke Rijsberman wrote:
>> It made me realize that I've never read anything in the professional
>> literature about designing to accommodate the focus of the user's
>> attention,
>> even though a divided focus can make it virtually impossible to
>> interact
>> with an interface (safely) or to continue other activities in
>> parallel
>> safely. Even if this particular interface were simple to use, it
>> can't be
>> operated by feel, which highway safety demands.
>>
> Sorry to sound like a broken record, but again you should check out
> the
> Human Factors literature on aviation. Divided attention is an
> important
> concern in that literature. Look up, for example, research on
> Heads-Up-Displays. Ensuring that operators' attention doesn't drift
> where it shouldn't (like from the outside world to the projected
> display) is a major concern of this literature.
>
> This concern also comes front and centre in the design of alarms
> for the
> cockpit. Here, extensive research has been done to help designers to
> design appropriate visual and auditory alarms that will hijack
> operators' attention in appropriate ways.
>
> To access the literature on this topic, you should start with C. D.
> Wickens' "Engineering Psychology and Human Performance".
>
> Regards,
> -Gerard
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
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Petra Lynn Hofmann, CTT+, M.S. Technical Communication and
Information Design
Learning Design and Presentation

128 Fellows Ct., Apt A
Elmhurst, IL 60126 USA
H +1 630.833.1667
C +1 630.290.5173
petralyn at petrahofmann.com

9 Dec 2005 - 6:24pm
Robert Cornejo
2004

Gerard,
Not sure that aviation is the standard for safe
software interfaces for public usage. While they have
managed to avoid a major air disaster, in the US, for
the last few years,

Increasingly complex automation is driving research on
negative impact on pilot performance:
http://tinyurl.com/dtaqv

While air traffic controllers still commit potentially
fatal errors with their own systems:
http://tinyurl.com/77bkx

Another thing to keep in mind is that both of these
groups are highly trained in usage of the software.
The simulators and many of the cockpit widgets are
closely linked to the intended mechanical action.

In the case of the San Jose police, or a stock trader
the software is representing something less concrete.

The education and training required of a securities
trader doesn't take software into account. Not sure
that it should.
http://tinyurl.com/9pmun (US-specific info)

One classic example of an easy-to-use comparison is
the near-weekly news reports of toddlers taking their
parents' car for a a joyride. Believe most adults
would be hard-pressed to get an airplane off the
ground.

Point is, that most of these public service systems
need to be transparent to the user with a minimal
amount of training. The aviation model would be a
near impossible sell to these other groups.

= Robert

--- Gerard Torenvliet <g.torenvliet at gmail.com> wrote:
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but again you
should check out the
Human Factors literature on aviation. Divided
attention is an important
concern in that literature. Look up, for example,
research on
Heads-Up-Displays. Ensuring that operators'
attention doesn't drift
where it shouldn't (like from the outside world to
the projected
display) is a major concern of this literature.

This concern also comes front and centre in the
design of alarms for the
cockpit. Here, extensive research has been done to
help designers to
design appropriate visual and auditory alarms that
will hijack
operators' attention in appropriate ways.

Regards,
-Gerard

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

9 Dec 2005 - 8:04pm
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Robert Cornejo wrote:
> Not sure that aviation is the standard for safe
> software interfaces for public usage. While they have
> managed to avoid a major air disaster, in the US, for
> the last few years,
>
Robert - I'm not sure the data supports your assertion that aviation
doesn't set a standard for safety. There certainly are many ongoing
research concerns, and cockpit complexity is a huge issue, but air
travel remains the safest mode of transportation. That is an enviable
record!

(Tangential but interesting: This record is even more enviable when you
consider it against medicine. A 1999 US Institute of Medicine makes a
conservative estimate of the number of deaths that are attributable to
preventable medical error to be the equivalent of one 747-load worth of
people dying per week.)
> Another thing to keep in mind is that both of these
> groups are highly trained in usage of the software.
> The simulators and many of the cockpit widgets are
> closely linked to the intended mechanical action.
>
> In the case of the San Jose police, or a stock trader
> the software is representing something less concrete.
>
I don't think that public systems need the solutions that the aviation
system provides, but only their approach. The aviation industry has
recognized that safety is a systems problem - better technological
support is only one piece of a complex solution that involves everything
from tools to workers' skills to management policy to regulation structure.
> The education and training required of a securities
> trader doesn't take software into account. Not sure
> that it should.
> http://tinyurl.com/9pmun (US-specific info)
>
If I was trusting some bloke to manage millions of dollars of my money,
I would sure hope that he was trained to use his software well. I think
I'd even pay for that.

> One classic example of an easy-to-use comparison is
> the near-weekly news reports of toddlers taking their
> parents' car for a a joyride. Believe most adults
> would be hard-pressed to get an airplane off the
> ground. Point is, that most of these public service systems
> need to be transparent to the user with a minimal
> amount of training. The aviation model would be a
> near impossible sell to these other groups.
>
But it *has* been sold there. You car is not the public service system,
but the highway transportation system is. That system has licensing
(like pilot training), standards for car construction (like aircraft
certification), enforcement, regulation, and even accident
investigations (coroner's inquiries). Just because the technological
component of these two systems differ in complexity, doesn't mean the
systems are different in kind.

(BTW, if a Cessna 182 had an auto-start, I do believe a toddler could
take it off!)

Anyhow, off for a pint at the pub... and only one, because the
enforcement part of the transportation system doesn't look kindly on
much more!

-Gerard

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