“ChECk” the hospital: Cognitive ergonomics components for the analysis of a human-system interaction in a hospital environment

Mariia Zolotova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper represents a piece of PhD research in Product Design conducted at a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This research focused on the issues around the interaction process between people and complex technological systems. Specifically, one of the objectives is as follows: what could be a valuable contribution of Cognitive Ergonomics to designing complex human-system interactions? The healthcare sector was chosen as an application field characterized by a high level of complexity, while Cognitive Ergonomics was the approach. The desk research on Cognitive Ergonomics has proposed a set of Cognitive Ergonomics Components: subjectivity, functionality, perception, decision-making, mental workload, error, and interaction. According to the literature review, these are essential components of Cognitive Ergonomics, and it was assumed that these components are useful for the analysis of the interaction between human and complex technological systems. This article relates the experience of field research conducted at a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that aimed to apply these components to analyze the interaction between the healthcare professionals, visitors, and the NICU equipment to prove or disprove the hypothesis eventually. The field research was organized as shadowing the doctors and nurses in their environment, clarifying specific moments of interaction with short interviews. The observations were synthesized according to the Cognitive Ergonomics components, allocating findings to the analysis steps proposed in the hypothesis. The paper concludes with reflections on the experience performed using the components as a human-system interaction analysis tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Designed Objects
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cognitive Ergonomics Components
  • Complexity
  • Design for Healthcare
  • Human-System Interaction
  • User Research

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