Work, Interaction and Technology: Empirical Studies of Social Ergonomics
Christian Heath, Paul Luff
In recent years there has been a growing interest in the possibility of utilising methodological developments
within social science to examine the ways in which tools and technologies are used within real world, work
settings. It has been argued that ethnomethodology, conversation analysis and cognate approaches, could
provide a thorough going alternative to the more traditional investigations of human-computer interaction and
generate new and distinctive approaches to the whole area of user centred design. These initiatives derive in
part from the convergence of two interrelated concerns; on the one hand, a growing dissatisfaction amongst
scholars from various disciplines with plan based models or goal oriented models of human conduct and
machine interaction; and the other, the idea that successful design and the development of useful tools and
technologies is dependent upon an understanding of the ordinary work practices, tasks and situational
requirements of the users.
Proc. 11th Int. Conf. On Ergonomics, July 1991, Paris, France, Taylor & Francis Group Ltd., London.