Locked-out: Investigating the effectiveness of system lockouts to reduce errors in routine tasks

in CHI EA '10: Proceedings of the Extended Abstracts of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Journal article


While frustrating and innocuous in many settings, errors can have disastrous consequences for the use of safety critical systems and medical devices. This work-in-progress investigates the effectiveness of an enforced lockout period for reducing errors in a routine task. During the lockout period the user can look at, but not interact with the device interface for a period of 10 seconds before they resume the task after an interruption. Results show that this lockout period can reduce sequence errors by up to 64%. Identifying ways to reduce the disruptiveness of interruptions is important for HCI research given that many devices are now used in settings where interruptions are commonplace. © 2010 Copyright is held by the author/owner(s).