Control Panel – Error, design and PIFs

The Control Panel game is a fantastic way to demonstrate the impact of Performance Influencing Factors (PIFs) on performance (reaction times and errors). Delegates play a simple ‘process control’ game on their phones (suitable for large and small groups) and the results of each round are displayed on the facilitators projector (including who responded fastest).  In each round different PIFS are added to the tasks such as poor interface design; distractions; and high workload.  At the end of the game the facilitator leads a discussion based on the experience of the delegates.

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System design influences the performance of individuals. Factors such as unintuitive interfaces, distractions and task workload can all cause cognitive overload and contribute to errors.

This is a simple game that illustrates these different factors and the impact they have on performance.

The game is competitive as delegates try to have the fastest reaction time but also the increase in errors and reaction time is displayed with reference to individual and group performance. A great addition to any human factors training!