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Human Factors Engineering

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Course Dates

Time Commitment

1-2 weeks

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Designing systems, products, and services to make them easier, safer, and more effective for human use.

Anywhere there is a person using a system, human factors engineering concepts inevitably apply. This hands-on, multidisciplinary training program — now in its 62nd year — provides essential user interface design experience for anyone looking to improve their organization through proven evaluation techniques.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Understand the major topics in design, evaluation, and research, along with current recommendations for common design problems.
  • Learn how to measure human anthropometry, estimate task completion times, and use methods in human-computer interaction.
  • Select special topics of interest from 14 seminars and workshops, including cognitive task analysis, occupational ergonomic methods, usability testing, and cognitive walkthroughs.
  • Observe current research and human factors applications during tours of the U-M Center for Ergonomics, National Center for Patient Safety, and more.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

week 1

The first week of the course focuses on human factors concepts, offering a broad survey of human factors topics important to designers and researchers.

Monday

  • What is the history of HFE and how has it evolved?
  • What names are used to identify what we do?
  • What does human factors matter?
  • What does human factors have in common with other fields of endeavor?
  • What do human factors specialists do?
  • What societies are associated with human factors work?
  • What are some primary journals and standards for our profession?
  • How is light measured?
  • What are the optical components of the eye?
  • How do we see color?
  • Rods and cones: the 8 elements of duplicity theory
  • Eye movements and what they mean
  • Failures of vision
  • Why are visual displays important?
  • What makes visual displays easy to use?
  • When should auditory and visual displays be used?
  • What kinds of visual displays are there?
  • Which kinds of displays are best for various tasks?
  • How should displays be arranged?
  • What are desired characteristics for individual displays?
  • What are the costs and benefits of color in displays?
  • How should maps and spatial displays be designed (including size and clutter)?
  • How should supervisory displays be designed?
  • What do we know about information visualization?
  • How should head mounted displays be designed?
  • What do we know about virtual reality displays?

Tuesday

  • Traditional techniques for measuring human body size, strength, and range of motion
  • 3D and other techniques
  • Analysis of anthropometric data (human variation, sampling, statistics)
  • Databases and software for human accommodation
  • Fitts’s Law and the control of discrete movements to small targets
  • Models and theories of continuous tracking
  • Rhythmic pattern generation
  • How can controls be categorized and what are some examples?
  • What should be considered when selecting controls?
  • Which control is best and for what?
  • How should individual controls be coded?
  • Why are mice often best for desktop work?
  • Are there better keyboards than QWERTY?
  • Which widget is best for various tasks?
  • What kinds of controls do people prefer?
  • How should user performance with controls be measured?

Wednesday

  • What kinds of musculoskeletal disorders occur?
  • How can ergonomics prevent them?
  • What are the occupational biomechanics of the spine, shoulder, elbow, and hand/wrist?
  • How does one use the Washington State job analysis tool?
  • What are some common job analysis tools (checklists, lifting analysis, computer models, field instrumentation, guidelines for tool selection)?
  • Interventions to reduce injuries
  • The economics of ergonomics
  • What is situation awareness?
  • What theory supports this concept?
  • What are the design requirements for situation awareness?
  • What are design principles for situation awareness?
  • How is situation awareness measured?

Thursday

  • What is the DOD development process?
  • What is human-system integration?
  • What are the steps in the Human-Systems Integration process?
  • What tools are available to support Human-Systems Integration?
  • What are some important performance measures?
  • Time study
  • Activity sampling
  • Predetermined time systems
  • Key references

Friday

  • What are some lessons from the USS Vincennes incident?
  • What are the stages of human information processing, and how do they affect comprehension?
  • What is selective attention and how does it work?
  • How do we support human performance?
  • What are some models of human decision making?
  • What are some common biases (fixation/anchoring, confirmation, salience/availability, overconfidence, framing) and how do they affect decision making?
  • What is hierarchical task analysis?
  • What are the approaches to safety?
  • What are the causes and consequences of errors?
  • Models of mishaps
  • Root cause analysis
  • Human error in healthcare surgical errors

Saturday Morning

  • What research design is appropriate for various questions?
  • What measures should be considered?
  • What statistical analysis techniques are available?
  • What guidelines should be followed for the treatment of human subjects?
  • How does aging affect human performance?
  • What is a disability and how does one comply with federal regulations such as ADA and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act?
  • What is inclusive design and how is it accomplished?
  • What are good design principles for older adults?

week 2

Human-computer interaction (HCI) and intelligent system design are the focus for week two, providing an overview of HCI issues through workshops that lay the foundation for effective human-computer systems.

Monday

  • What does HCI study?
  • What are the people, tasks, and technology trends?
  • How does innovation occur?
  • What are the display trends?
  • Location and activity aware computing
  • What is computer-supported cooperative work?
  • What is the intellectual framework for this topic?
  • What are some applications?
  • What are some key research findings?
  • Who uses the web, and who are the users?
  • What hardware and software do people use to access the web?
  • Which sites are visited most often and what do people do? (Tasks)
  • What are some web-specific design problems and how can they be solved?
  • How should websites be designed?
  • How can websites be automatically evaluated?
  • How is use of the web likely to change in the future?
  • What are some useful resources?
  • What are the steps in conducting a usability test?
  • At each step, what should one do and not do?
  • What are some key references on usability testing?

Tuesday

  • Why model user performance?
  • What are the elements in the Keystroke-Level Model?
  • How can task times be predicted using KLM?

    Note: Students will compute the solutions to KLM problems in class
  • What are the elements in the Model Human Processor?
  • How can task times be predicted using the Model Human Processor?

    Note: Students will compute the solutions to Model Human Processor problems in class
  • Prescriptivism
  • Agile development
  • Task-centered design

Wednesday

  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Cognitive walkthrough
  • Thinking aloud
  • Real world testing
  • User-centered design
  • What is usability worth?
  • Hypothetical case study
  • Metrics for cost-benefit
  • Calculating ROI
  • Horror studies
  • How is sound measured?
  • When and why should speech interfaces be used?
  • Who are the users of speech interfaces?
  • What are the key terms used to describe dialogs?
  • How is speech interface performance measured?
  • How can user performance with speech interfaces be modeled and predicted?
  • What are some accepted speech dialog design guidelines?
  • How do you define and document requirements in the engineering design process?
  • What are the applications?

Thursday

  • Why automate?
  • What are the levels of automation?
  • What are the problems of automation?
  • What are the ironies of automation?
  • 5 principles of human-centered design
  • What is workload?
  • Why measure workload?
  • How can workload be measured?
  • How can workload be analyzed?
  • How can workload be reduced?
  • Where is there more information on workload?

Friday

  • Heat
  • Vibration and motion
  • Sound and noise
  • For yourself
  • For your organization/employer
  • How do you get human factors work done?
  • Why is getting human factors work done so difficult?

sample lecture videos

🎦 GOMS and the Keystroke-Level Model
Dr. Paul Green | Human Factors Engineering Program Leader, University of Michigan

Dr. Bruce Bradtmiller | Owner and President, Anthrotech
Dr. Richard Hughes | Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan
Dr. Deborah Boehm-Davis | Professor of Psychology, George Mason University
Dr. Clayton Lewis | Professor of Computer Science, University of Colorado
Dr. Paul Green | Human Factors Engineering Program Leader, University of Michigan

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Engineers, psychologists, medical professionals, managers, and others interested in human factors, ergonomics, human-computer interaction, or usability. Attendees often work in industry, government, or the military.

  • Human factors specialist
  • Human factors engineer
  • Human factors psychologist
  • Engineering psychologist
  • Usability engineer
  • User experience engineer
  • Usability analyst
  • Ergonomist
  • Ergonomics engineer
  • Safety engineer
  • Forensic expert
  • Training needs analyst
  • Systems Integration engineer
  • Occupational therapist

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NIST

INSTRUCTIONAL TEAM

PAUL GREEN, PHD

  • Lead Faculty
  • Research Professor, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
  • Research Professor, Industrial & Operations Engineering

Dr. Paul Green teaches automotive human factors and human-computer interaction classes at the University of Michigan. A leader of U-M’s Human Factors Engineering Short Course for twenty-seven years, he is also the past president of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Dr. Green leads a research team that focuses on driver distraction, driver workload, and workload managers, navigation system design, and motor-vehicle controls and displays.

Deborah Boehm-Davis, PhD

  • Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, George Mason University

Bruce Bradtmiller, PhD

  • Owner and President, Anthrotech

Neil Charness, PhD

  • Professor of Psychology, Florida State University

Richard Hughes, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Richard Jagacinski, PhD

  • Professor of Psychology, Ohio State University

Debra Jones, PhD

  • Head, Human Systems Engineering Branch, Georgia Tech Research Institute

Clayton Lewis, PhD

  • Professor of Computer Science, University of Colorado

Michael Nebeling, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Information, School of Information
  • Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan

Nadine Sarter, PhD

  • Professor, Industrial & Operations Engineering

Jacob Seagull, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Medical Education at the University of Michigan Medical School, Michigan Medicine

Sheryl Ulin, PhD

  • Research Program Officer, Center for Ergonomics
  • Director of Continuing Education, Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering

Douglas Wiegmann, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin
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