This paper discusses an innovative experiment where sociologists were actively involved in the requirements analysis for an interactive software system to support the work of air traffic controllers. Air traffic control is intrinsically cooperative and our work involved an analysis of that process from a social perspective and the development of a prototype user interface for air traffic controllers' interaction with a flight information system.
As part of the analysis process, sociologists were involved in ethnographic studies of work and discovered subtle and complex patterns of cooperation which, we suspect, would not have been discovered using structured methods for requirements analysis. From a software development perspective, we describe how the input from the sociologists was essential for understanding the real automation requirements, discuss the difficulties of inter-disciplinary cooperative working and suggest how social analysis can be integrated in the interactive systems design process.
|Number of pages
|Published - 1994