Designing and testing a tool for evaluating electronic flight bags

Designing and testing a tool for evaluating electronic flight bags

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  • Abstract:
    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), system designers, and customers all recognize that Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) are sophisticated devices whose use could affect pilot performance. As a result, human factors issues have received considerable attention from the EFB community. In addition, the FAA's Advisory Circular (AC) on EFBs (AC 120-76A) identifies a need for evaluating EFBs from a human factors perspective and contains a list of human factors considerations for review. However, the AC does not specify exactly how to do the field human factors evaluation. Our research is directed at developing tools and procedures that could be used by FAA field evaluators in conducting structured and comprehensive, yet practical, EFB usability evaluations. The tools and methods were developed and refined over the course of several tests with real EFB systems. In this paper, we describe the evolution of one promising tool into its latest, relatively mature, format. We also present our test procedure and methods of processing the resulting data into feedback for the manufacturer. Our next step is to expose more potential users, especially those in the FAA, to the tools and methods to determine if these products are useful in practice.
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