Interactions in Sociotechnical Systems: Achieving Balance in the Use of an Augmented Reality Mobile Application

Abigail R. Wooldridge, John Morgan, Widya A. Ramadhani, Keith Hanson, Elsa Vazquez-melendez, Harleena Kendhari, Nadia Shaikh, Teresa Riech, Matthew Mischler, Sara Krzyzaniak, Ginger Barton, Kyle T. Formella, Zachary R. Abbott, John N. Farmer, Rebecca Ebert-allen, Trina Croland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We explore relationships between barriers and facilitators experienced by users to understand dynamic interactions in sociotechnical systems and improve a mobile phone-based augmented reality application that teaches users about the contents of a standardized pediatric code cart. Background: Understanding interactions between performance obstacles and facilitators can provide guidance to (re)designing sociotechnical systems to improve system outcomes. Clinicians should know about contents and organization of code carts, and an augmented reality mobile application may improve that knowledge but changes the sociotechnical system in which they learn. Prior work identified barriers and facilitators impacting the use of this application—participants described dimensions together, indicating interactions that are explored in the current study. Method: We conducted four focus groups (number of clinicians = 18) and two interviews with clinicians who used the application. We performed a secondary analysis of focus group data exploring interactions between previously identified barriers and facilitators to application use. We used epistemic network analysis to visualize these interactions. Results: Work system barriers interacted with barriers and facilitators interacted with facilitators to amplify cumulative negative or positive impact, respectively. Facilitators balanced barriers, mitigating negative impact. Facilitators also exacerbated barriers, worsening negative impact. Conclusion: Barriers and facilitators interact and can amplify, balance, and exacerbate each other—notably, positives are not always positive. To obtain desired outcomes, interactions must be further considered in sociotechnical system design, for example, the potential improvements to the application we identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number001872082210938
Pages (from-to)658-682
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number3
Early online dateMay 12 2022
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • emergency medicine and resuscitation
  • games
  • virtual environments
  • system design and analysis
  • macroergonomics and the environment
  • medical simulation/training and assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Applied Psychology

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