1st Edition

Human Factors Methods for Design Making Systems Human-Centered

By Christopher P. Nemeth Copyright 2004
    416 Pages 201 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

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    There is no shortage of available human factors information, but until now there was no single guide on how to use this information. Human Factors Methods for Design: Making Systems Human-Centered is an in-depth field guide to solving human factors challenges in the development process. It provides design and human factors professionals, systems engineers, and research and development managers with the orientation, process, and methods to perform human-centered research.

    The book delivers an overview of human factors and the application of research to product and service development. It enables the reader to define a design opportunity, develop product goals, and establish criteria to meet those goals. The text offers a road map for collecting and analyzing human performance information, applying that information to the creation of solutions, and using the information to evaluate potential solutions.

    The book demonstrates, in three sections, a way to design products that extend, amplify, and enhance human capabilities. Human Factors Practice explains research context including the operational environment and internal and external influences. Human Factors Methods explains how to perform a wide variety of procedures for human-oriented research and development. Application demonstrates how to put the results to use.

    Human factors practice

    The Human-Made Environment
    The Systems Model
    Life Cycle
    The Development Process
    System Issues
    Human Factors Practice
    Human Abilities and Limits
    Human Roles
    Response to Environment
    Human Erroneous Actions or Error
    Group versus Individual
    How We Think about Development Problems
    Philosophical Thought
    Problem Solving Behavior
    Impediments to Problem Solving
    What Influences Development?
    Problems and Opportunities
    Influences on Research and Development
    Rapid Prototyping
    Personal conduct
    Human Factors in Research and Development
    Applied Human Factors Research
    Inferential Studies
    How to Choose Methods

    Human factors methods

    Analysis Methods
    Pareto Analysis
    Operational Analysis (Mission Analysis)
    Analysis of Similar Systems
    Activity Analysis
    Verbal Protocol Analysis (Thinking Aloud, Directed Dialog)
    Critical Incident Study
    Management Oversight and Risk Tree Analysis (MORT)
    Error Analysis
    Root Cause Analysis
    Design Guidance Methods
    Flow Analysis
    Time Line Analysis
    Link Analysis
    Function Allocation
    Task Description (task identification)
    Task Analysis
    Cognitive Task Analysis
    Technique for Human Error Rate Prediction (THERP)
    Work Design
    Decision Analysis

    Evaluation Methods

    Fault Tree Analysis
    Failure Modes and Effects Analysis
    Operational Sequence Analysis
    Workload Assessment
    Surveys: Interviews and Questionnaires
    Self-Administered Questionnaires
    Bias, Presumption and Non-Response
    Usability Assessment
    Usability Assessment Methods
    Usability Testing
    Usability Benefits and Issues
    Controlled Studies
    Basic Controlled Studies
    Experimental Design
    Inferential Study


    Cost-Benefit Analysis
    Determining Cost-Effectiveness
    Application to Practice
    Effecting Change
    Research and Development is Change
    Working Relationships
    Traits for Change
    Change Management
    Change Evolution
    The Change Process
    Nature of Research and Development Communications
    Types of Human Factors Communications
    Bus Workstation
    International Currency Exchange
    Web Site Design
    Remote Site Collaborative Communications Tool
    Sharps Disposal Container
    Infusion Pump
    Reference Laboratory Assay System


    Christopher P. Nemeth

    “… primary motivation for writing this book was to provide a guide on how to use the vast amount of available human factors information to design things for people. He suggests that readers use the book to help define and solve problems, to develop new solutions, and to evaluate the effectiveness of those solutions. The text provides a basic understanding of human behavior; ways to recognize, approach, analyze, and solve problems; a means to evaluate solution alternatives; and a process for effectively communication results. … The text has many excellent features that contribute to its usability. … I recommend this text as a reference for the wide array of questions and methods involved in human factors design, as a text for professionals in the field, for advanced undergraduate or graduate design classes, and as an easily understood reference for the layperson. The book would greatly benefit from having a companion electronic version that is searchable while working on your computer or online. I will definitely be keeping it within easy reach in my work space.”
    —John W. Ruffner, in Ergonomics in Design, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter 2006
    “This is a useful practitioner’s book, clearly grounded in industry practice with an eye on current research and philosophical groundwork. At nearly 400 pages, it is comprehensive without any padding. The core of the book is its understandable descriptions of methods. These provide valuable professional guidance … [it’s] an invaluable reference work.”
    — John Knight, User-Lab, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, UK, in Leonardo Reviews – ISAST, Vol. 39, No. 3, 2006
    “The approach [in this book] is always lucid and concise, with additional background references, and the methods are illuminated with examples of their use in practice. … It is a genuinely useful guide to conducting user-oriented research for design.”
    —Nigel Cross, Design Research Society Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2005
    “Christopher Nemeth's book "Human Factors Methods for Design: Making Systems Human-Centered" is an impressive and comprehensive survey of the many different issues and methods for the development of successful, exciting products. It can be used in two ways. First, read the book from front to back to learn about the wide range of issues and methods. Second, the book shines as a problem-focused resource. Find the relevant sections, read, and put them to use for just-in-time learning, which is the best kind.”
    Don Norman, Nielsen Norman group & Northwestern University; Author of "Emotional Design"