Fw: "Seminal" NASA Typography & Checklist Reports

Subject: Fw: "Seminal" NASA Typography & Checklist Reports
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 08:21:57 -0500

Hello all. This was forwarded to me from the Framer's list and I wanted the
list to see it. I've downloaded them and I'm looking through them now. I've
left the headers on so we can track the friendly folks who sent it.

>> From: Loren R. Needles <lrn -at- analytica -dot- com>
>> To: FrameUsers <Framers -at- frameusers -dot- com>
>> Subject: "Seminal" NASA Typography & Checklist Reports
>> Date: Friday, November 07, 1997 7:41 AM
>> --- begin forwarded text
>> Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 16:13:02 -0600 (CST)
>> From: "Mark E. Ingram" <markt -at- mickey -dot- mo-net -dot- com>
>> Subject: NASA Typography and Checklist Reports Available
>> To: Acrobat List <acrobat -at- blueworld -dot- com>
>> Mime-Version: 1.0
>> Precedence: Bulk
>> Reply-To: acrobat -at- blueworld -dot- com
>> X-URL: http://www.blueworld.com/lists/
>> Graphics and Typography Experts:
>> Thanks to NASA researcher Dr. Asaf Degani, now available on a NASA Web
>> site are three of his seminal reports dealing with typography, and with
>> printed materials (including checklists) used in safety-critical
>> applications. Although these reports are directed at the aviation
>> industry in particular, the principles discussed in them are applicable
>> any number of endeavors in which complex, critical information must be
>> accurately conveyed to humans via the printed word.
>> Since Dr. Degani desires to make these reports available to the widest
>> possible professional audience, it is requested that readers forward this
>> message to other desktop publishing or typography lists, as appropriate.
>> Best regards,
>> Mark E. Ingram
>> MarkT -at- Mo-Net -dot- Com (also mingram -at- mail -dot- orion -dot- org)
>> --------------
>> This graphics-rich report, "On the Typography of Flight Deck
>> Documentation," transcends its modest title: It actually applies not
>> to virtually any textual information printed on paper, but also to the
>> typography and symbology used in electronic and other displays - in fact,
>> to just about any instance where "printed" (or displayed) information
>> needs to be accurately and completely conveyed to humans.
>> See: <http://olias.arc.nasa.gov/publications/degani/typography/
>> Degani_Report_9.pdf>
>> Another ground-breaking report, co-authored by Earl L. Wiener,
>> entitled "On the Design of Flight-Deck Procedures," is available at:
>> <http://olias.arc.nasa.gov/publications/degani/fltdeck/
>> Degani_Flt_Deck_Proc_1994.pdf>
>> >>From the document's Summary section:
>> "In complex human-machine systems, operations, training, and
>> standardization depend on an elaborate set of procedures which are
>> specified and mandated by the operational management of the organization.
>> These procedures indicate to the human operator ... the manner in which
>> operational management intends to have various tasks performed. The
>> intent [of this report] is to provide guidance ... to ensure a logical,
>> efficient, safe, and predictable (standardized) means of carrying out the
>> mission objectives.
>> "However, in some operations these procedures can become a hodge-podge,
>> with little coherency in terms of consistency and operational logic.
>> Inconsistent or illogical procedures may lead to deviations from
>> procedures by [operators]....
>> "Although this report is based on airline operations, we believe that the
>> principles may be applicable to other complex, high-risk systems, such as
>> nuclear power production, manufacturing process control, space flight,
>> enforcement, military operations, and high-technology medical practice."
>> A third report, also co-authored by Earl L. Wiener, is entitled "Human
>> Factors of Flight-Deck Checklists: The Normal Checklist," and is
>> available at:
>> http://olias.arc.nasa.gov/publications/degani/checklist/
>> Degani_Checklist_Rept_1990.pdf
>> >>From the document's Summary section:
>> "Although the aircraft checklist has long been regarded as the foundation
>> of pilot standardization and cockpit safety, it has escaped the scrutiny
>> of the human factors profession. The improper use, or the non-use, of
>> normal checklist by flight crews is often cited as the probable cause or
>> at least a contributing factor to aircraft accidents.
>> "In this report the authors attempt to analyze the normal checklist, its
>> functions, format, design, length, usage, and the limitations of the
>> humans who must interact with it.... [The] authors [also] provide a list
>> of design guidelines for normal checklists."
>> --- end forwarded text

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
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http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/

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