Industrial Engineering

Research Laboratories

Human-Computer Systems Laboratory (HCSL)

The mission of the HCSL is to improve the design of human-computer systems. The laboratory applies user-centered design methodologies to develop and refine human-computer systems for a variety of applications within the production and service sectors.

Laboratory Web site 

Brochure (PDF File)


Dr. Joel S. Greenstein


Development of an Industry Standardized Auditing and Surveillance Tool – WebSAT (Sponsor: FAA)

With support from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Clemson University’s Industrial Engineering department and industry partner FedEx will focus on developing a web–based surveillance and auditing tool (WebSAT) to minimize maintenance errors prior to aircraft dispatch by airlines. The research will be pursued over three years using a task analytic and user-centered software lifecycle development methodology. More details on WebSAT.

Visual Deictic Reference in a Collaborative Virtual Environment for Visual Search Training (Sponsor: NSF)

The objective of this research is to study and support collaboration between an instructor and a student in a virtual visual-inspection system environment. Our goal is to develop information displays that enable inspectors to perform their visual search tasks more effectively. Of particular interest in this work is the recording and depiction of the visual deictic references made with the eyes by either the instructor or the student. (Deictic references are the pointing and verbal expressions people exchange while communicating with each other, such as “look at this” or “see that?”).

Integrating Usability Testing in the Development Process of a Corporate Web Site (Sponsor confidential)

In this development project, we contributed to the user-centered design of a corporate web site by iteratively testing the design with representative users. We observed users performing real tasks with early and progressively more detailed prototypes of the web site as it was developed. The results and implications of these tests were reported to the sponsor and the site developer for use in refinement of the design. Through this process of testing and refinement we identified and remedied usability problems present in the design before the web site was released to the public.

A Context-Based Approach to the Development of a Computer-Supported Collaborative Work System (Sponsor: Ryobi Motor Products)

In this project, we used field research to develop a computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) system in a power tool manufacturing organization. Customer-driven, context-based methodologies were used to capture the workflow and the critical issues that needed to be addressed by the CSCW system. We found that a combination of ethnographic and user-centered design methodologies enabled us to capture information about stakeholder needs and use it to develop a CSCW system for the organization. Through evaluative ethnography, we were able to determine those tasks which were appropriately supported by the CSCW system and those tasks which were inappropriate for integration into the system. Our methodology also identified issues which hindered the adoption of the CSCW system, permitting implementation strategies to be developed in parallel with system development.

The Use of Groupware for Collaboration in Distributed Engineering Design Teams (Sponsor: NASA)

We conducted an experiment in which teams of geographically distributed students used groupware tools to complete three tasks typically performed by the members of an engineering design team: generating ideas, co-editing reports, and negotiating agreements. Four groupware-supported team meeting formats using various combinations of audio, video, file-transfer, and application-sharing support were compared against each other and against a conventional face-to-face meeting. The results suggest that when design teams are geographically distributed, providing the team members with both audio communication and file transfer capability enables synchronous collaboration.

Selected Publications

D’Souza, M. E., and Greenstein, J. S. (2003). Listening to users in a manufacturing organization: A context-based approach to the development of a computer-supported collaborative work system. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 32(4), 251-264.

Kirschman, J. S., and Greenstein, J. S. (2002). The use of groupware for collaboration in distributed student engineering design teams. Journal of Engineering Education, 91(4), 403-407.

D’Souza, M. E., and Greenstein, J. S. (1999). The design of a visual display for the presentation of statistical quality control information to operators on the plant floor. Human Factors, 41(4), 619-627.

Gramopadhye, A., Bhagwat, S., Kimbler, D., and Greenstein, J. (1998). The use of advanced technology for visual inspection training. Applied Ergonomics, 29(5), 361-375.

Greenstein, J. S. (1997). Pointing devices. In M. G. Helander, T. K. Landauer, and P. V. Prabhu (Eds.), Handbook of human-computer interaction (2nd ed.) (pp. 1317-1348). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.


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