Vergangene Veranstaltungen

Cognitive Science at ETH Zurich - cross-disciplinary interactions

Software Ergonomics

26.03.2015 18.30 - 26.03.2015 20.00
Sonneggstrasse 3 - 8092 Zürich

Christoph Hölscher & members of the Cognitive Science team, ETHZ


The cognitive science research group at ETH Zürich puts a focus on Applied Cognitive Science and reaches out to design and engineering disciplines as well as partners outside the university. The core mission of the group is to help understand the complex interaction of humans and their physical, technical and social environment with an emphasis on cognitive processes and task-oriented behavior. In the area of human-computer interaction this includes projects on how people interact with desktop computers and digital mobile devices. In the area of human spatial cognition we emphasize collaboration with architectural design researchers on orientation and navigation in complex public buildings and urban environments. 

In this presentation we will provide an overview of current research. The first project takes a new perspective on finance usability: We investigate the usability and visual attention distribution with complex, dynamic computer systems, in application to financial trading software. This effort starts with a field study by observing and interviewing experts in their natural work environment, thus by running a contextual inquiry. Based on these insights, stimuli and tasks for a series of experimental studies will be designed. 

The second project is based on a Google Faculty Research Grant: Here we compare navigation with a digital mobile indoor map to printed maps. We focus on how individual preferences and abilities shape not only map usability, but also wayfinding behaviour. We use behavioural, survey, eye tracking and verbal data to measure wayfinding effectiveness & efficiency (search times, cognitive load), satisfaction and spatial learning. 

Two further projects are centered around Virtual Reality technologies. For the 'stress and restoration' project, we compared physiological and behavioral responses to different urban landmarks during navigation through a virtual environment. Skin conductance and eye-tracking equipment were integrated with the virtual reality CAVE in such a way that data were available for immediate or post-experimental analysis. In another study, we compared three simple control interfaces for facilitating performance on various navigation tasks in desktop virtual environments. Across several tasks and measures, a mouse-and-keyboard setup led to better performance than other types of controls (e.g, a joystick).


Anschliessend wie immer Znacht in Jimmy's Pizzeria!


Christoph Hölscher is a psychologist by training and Full Professor of Cognitive Science in the D-GESS at ETH Zürich since 2013, with an emphasis on Applied Cognitive Science. He was previously Assistant Professor at the Cognitive Science Center of the University of Freiburg, Germany. There he was as principal investigator on projects in the SFB/TR8 Spatial Cognition, Europe’s largest research center on spatial cognition integrating psychology, cognitive science, computer science, linguistics and GIS. He holds a PhD in Psychology from University of Freiburg, serves as honorary senior research fellow at UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture, and as visiting Professor at Northumbria University Newcastle. Christoph Hölscher has several years of industry experience in HCI, online service design and usability consulting.

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