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Organizations should always be cognizant of human factors in system design.

Human factors in system design is important because human factors help make work more efficient, effective and safe. Organizations that address human factors ensure the machines and equipment are easy and safe to use for their workers.

Human factors is the science of people at work. It is primarily concerned with understanding human capabilities, and then applying this knowledge to the design of equipment, tools, systems and processes of work.

Human factors can use input from many disciplines (designers, engineers, psychologists, managers) and is considered a mix of engineering and psychology. The field of human factors can be seen to have four main goals: enhancing safety; reducing and managing errors; enhancing comfort; and increasing productivity.

Human Factors Engineers strive to produce designs that better meet the capabilities, limitations, and needs of the people who use them.

This pursuit often intersects with industrial designers, UX designers and design engineers. This not only does our work improve user experiences, it can help prevent injuries and user error.

Human factors and the term ergonomics are often used interchangeably. But many experts in this field believe prefer the term human factors engineering because the word ergonomics has become an adjective as in a buzzword for “comfortable.”

In reality, human factors covers a number of areas, anthropometrics, ergonomics, psychology, human physiology, environment and design for human needs.

The core of human factors is to fit the task and the environment to people so they can enjoy the built environment and products as well as carrying out their jobs safely and effectively. This can be very challenging and human factors has tools and strategies to ensure good results for the human users.

Failure to apply human factors in the design process can range from fatigue, misinterpretation to catastrophic and fatal.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Human Factors in System Design, a 2-day course that covers the key concepts of human factors and their application to development and design of  systems.

Learn about the essential link between system design engineering and human/end users/operators. Human Factors in Systems Design discusses how scientific knowledge about human behavior in specifying the design and use of a human-machine system.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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