Multimodal Design Guidelines, Human-Computer Interaction, Adaptive Automation, Interruption Management, Multitasking, User Interface Design, Working Memory


Due to a current lack of principle-driven multimodal user interface design guidelines, designers may encounter difficulties when choosing the most appropriate display modality for given users or specific tasks (e.g., verbal versus spatial tasks). The development of multimodal display guidelines from both a user and task domain perspective is thus critical to the achievement of successful human-system interaction. Specifically, there is a need to determine how to design task information presentation (e.g., via which modalities) to capitalize on an individual operator's information processing capabilities and the inherent efficiencies associated with redundant sensory information, thereby alleviating information overload. The present effort addresses this issue by proposing a theoretical framework (Architecture for Multi-Modal Optimization, AMMO) from which multimodal display design guidelines and adaptive automation strategies may be derived. The foundation of the proposed framework is based on extending, at a functional working memory (WM) level, existing information processing theories and models with the latest findings in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and other allied sciences. The utility of AMMO lies in its ability to provide designers with strategies for directing system design, as well as dynamic adaptation strategies (i.e., multimodal mitigation strategies) in support of real-time operations. In an effort to validate specific components of AMMO, a subset of AMMO-derived multimodal design guidelines was evaluated with a simulated weapons control system multitasking environment. The results of this study demonstrated significant performance improvements in user response time and accuracy when multimodal display cues were used (i.e., auditory and tactile, individually and in combination) to augment the visual display of information, thereby distributing human information processing resources across multiple sensory and WM resources. These results provide initial empirical support for validation of the overall AMMO model and a sub-set of the principle-driven multimodal design guidelines derived from it. The empirically-validated multimodal design guidelines may be applicable to a wide range of information-intensive computer-based multitasking environments.


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Graduation Date





Stanney, Kay


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering








Release Date

May 2007

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2007; it will then be open access.