Human Factors Methods for Design: Making Systems Human-Centered, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Human Factors Methods for Design

Making Systems Human-Centered, 1st Edition

By Christopher P. Nemeth

CRC Press

416 pages | 201 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415297981
pub: 2004-02-17
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pub: 2004-02-17
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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.


“… 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"

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

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety