Powerful information technologies and the complex support systems they engender are evolving faster than people’s ability to adjust to them. In the workplace, this leads to troublesome task performance, added stress on users, increased organizational inefficiency, and, in some cases, a heightened risk of wide-scale .disaster. In the marketplace, it makes for consumer dissatisfaction. Clearly, traditional human-computer interaction (HCI) and system design (SD) solutions to this dilemma have proven woefully inadequate. What is needed is a fresh multidisciplinary approach offering a broader, more dynamic framework for assessing needs and designing usable, efficient systems. Taking modeling concepts from engineering, psychology, cognitive science, information science, and computer science, cognitive systems engineering (CSE) provides such a framework. This book is the first comprehensive guide to the emerging new field of CSE. Providing equal parts theory and practice, it is based on the authors’ many years of experience with work systems in a wide range of work domains, including process control, manufacturing, hospitals, and libraries. Throughout, the emphasis is on powerful analytical techniques that enhance the systems designer’s ability to see the "big picture," and to design for all crucial aspects of human-work interaction. Applicable to highly structured technical systems such as process plants, as well as less structured user-driven systems like libraries, these analytical techniques form the basis for the evaluation and design guidelines that make up the bulk of this book. And since the proof is in the pudding, the authors provide a chapter-length case history in which they demonstrate the success of their approach when applied to a full-scale software design project. The project, a retrieval system for public libraries, is described in detail, from field studies to concept validation experiments, and, of course, the empirical evaluation of the system while in use by the library users and personnel. Computer-based information systems are rapidly becoming a fundamental part of the human landscape. How that landscape evolves over the next decade or so, whether it becomes a hostile one or one that generously supports the needs of future generations, is in the hands of all those involved with the study and design of information systems.