Handbook of Human Factors Testing and Evaluation

Handbook of Human Factors Testing and Evaluation

Handbook of Human Factors Testing and Evaluation

Handbook of Human Factors Testing and Evaluation

Synopsis

Like the first edition, the revision of this successful Handbook responds to the growing need for specific tools and methods for testing and evaluating human-system interfaces. Indications are that the market for information on these tools and applications will continue to grow in the 21st century. One of the goals of offering a second edition is to expand and emphasize the application chapters, providing contemporary examples of human factors test and evaluation (HFTE) enterprises across a range of systems and environments. Coverage of the standard tools and techniques used in HFTE have been updated as well. New features of the Handbook of Human Factors Testing and Evaluation include: *new chapters covering human performance testing, manufacturing ergonomics, anthropometry, generative design methods, and usability testing; *updated tools and techniques for modeling, simulation, embedded testing, training assessment, and psychophysiological measurement; *new applications chapters presenting human factors testing examples in aviation and avionics, forestry, road safety, and software systems; and *more examples, illustrations, graphics and tables have been added. The orientation of the current work has been toward breadth of coverage rather than in-depth treatment of a few issues or techniques. Experienced testers will find much that is familiar, as well as new tools, creative approaches, and a rekindled enthusiasm. Newcomers will discover the diversity of issues, methods, and creative approaches that make up the field. In addition, the book is written in such a way that individuals outside the profession should learn the intrinsic value and pleasure in ensuring safe, efficient, and effective operation, as well as increased user satisfaction through HFTE.

Excerpt

In the first edition of this handbook we posed the question “Why a book on human factors test and evaluation?” Our answer was that we felt that human factors test and evaluation (HFTE) is one of the most important applications of an avowedly applied discipline. hfte is the principal means of ensuring that systems and products will be effective and usable before they are placed in the hands of the public, and yet, it remains more or less invisible to those outside the profession.

Implicit in that statement was the presupposition that hfte was somehow more pragmatic, less theoretical, and less appreciated than the brand of human factors and ergonomics practiced by researchers in academic institutions. Faced with the need to “make it work” in the field environment, one could not afford the luxury of laboratory methods and true experimental designs, nor could one typically reason from general theoretical principles to the specific cases at hand. An oft-repeated refrain of hfte professionals is that hfte is an art; no standard formula for conducting hfte exists any more than a standard system exists.

Have we changed our view in these past 5 years? Maybe. Certainly it has been tempered somewhat. Is hfte an entity distinct from human factors and ergonomics generally? Our answer is still yes, but perhaps the distinction is not as great as it once was (or as once was believed). hfte practitioners are sometimes characterized as preferring the methods sections of journal articles, looking for measures that might be appropriate for some future test, blithely skipping the literature review and discussion sections.

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