Human Factors Methods for Design : Making Systems Human-Centered book cover
1st Edition

Human Factors Methods for Design
Making Systems Human-Centered

ISBN 9780415297981
Published February 17, 2004 by CRC Press
416 Pages 201 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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“… 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"