User-Centered Methods Are Insufficient for Safety Critical Systems

  • Harold Thimbleby
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4799)


The traditional approaches of HCI are essential, but they are unable to cope with the complexity of typical modern interactive devices in the safety critical context of medical devices. We outline some technical approaches, based on simple and “easy to use” formal methods, to improve usability and safety, and show how they scale to typical devices. Specifically: (i) it is easy to visualize behavioral properties; (ii) it is easy to formalize and check properties rigorously; (iii) the scale of typical devices means that conventional user-centered approaches, while still necessary, are insufficient to contribute reliably to safety related interaction issues.


Human–Computer Interaction Interaction Programming Usability Engineering Safety Critical Interactive Devices 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Thimbleby
    • 1
  1. 1.Director, Future Interaction Technology Laboratory, Swansea University, Wales, SA2 8PP 

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