In this paper we propose a new framework for evaluating designs based on work domain analysis, the first phase of' cognitive work analysis. We develop a rationale for a new approach to evaluation by describing the unique characteristics of complex systems and by showing that systems engineering techniques only partially accommodate these characteristics. We then present work domain analysis as a complementary framework for evaluation. We explain this technique by example by showing how the Australian Defence Force used work domain analysis to evaluate design proposals for a new system called Airborne Early Warning and Control. This case study also demonstrates that work domain analysis is a useful and feasible approach that compliments standard techniques for evaluation and that promotes a central role for human factors professionals early in the system design and development process. Actual or potential applications of this research include the evaluation of designs for complex systems.
14th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association and 44th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (IEA-HFES 2000), 29 July - 4 August 2000, San Diego, California, USA,