Workload benefits of colour coded head-up flight symbology during high workload flight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The manipulation of colour in display symbology design has been recognised as a method to improve operator experience and performance. An earlier paper by the authors demonstrated that redundantly colour coding head-up flight symbology supported the manual flying performance of both professional and non-professional pilots during low-workload flying scenarios. In this study the workload and performance of 12 professional airline pilots was evaluated in high workload conditions whilst they flew manoeuvres and an instrument landing system (ILS) approach with and without the presence of colour feedback on a head up display (HUD). Workload was manipulated by presenting pilots with a concurrent auditory n-back task. Colour coded flight symbology reduced the subjective workload of the pilots during high workload conditions. In contrast, manual flying performance during high workload was not improved by the presence of colour coded feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101973
Early online date10 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


Innovate UK grant reference number 113108


  • Aviation
  • Colour
  • Head up symbology
  • Performance
  • Workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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