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  1. 1. CHAPTER 10 - HUMAN FACTORS: SOFTWARE, HARDWARE, AND WORKPLACE DESIGN Learning Objectives After completing this chapter, you should be able to:  Identify characteristics of well-designed EUIS software.  Differentiate among command, menu, icon, natural speech, pen- and speech recognition-based software interfaces.  Discuss principles of good interface design and screen layout.  Explain the objectives of usability analysis and how they contribute to good interface design.  Define terms that describe characteristics of computer monitors: glare, flicker, bezel, and character quality.  List six terms that describe the ergonomics of keyboard operation.  Explain how mouse manufacturers are incorporating ergonomic design into their products.  Describe the application of AMCO-PACT in designing office spaces.  Discuss the relationship between lighting and worker productivity.  Offer at least three solutions to alleviating noise in the work environment.  Discuss the relationship between workstation design and worker productivity.  Suggest how individuals can improve their posture when using a computer.  Explain the impact of reach and viewing distances on workstation design.  Give several examples of territoriality in the workplace.  Explain why socialization patterns must be considered in workplace design.  Explain the relationship of productivity to personal space, backs and sides, eye contact, privacy, and status. Lecture Outline 10.1 00000000Introduction 10.2 Software Design 10.2.1 Types of Software Interfaces Command Interfaces Menu-Based Interfaces Icon-Based Interfaces Natural Language Interfaces Pen-based Interfaces Speech recognition technology 10.2.20 User Interface Design Improving User Understanding Allowing Users to Control the Dialogue 10.2.30 Screen Layout 10.2.4 Performance Support (Learning Aids) 10.30 Hardware Design 10.3.1 The Monitor 10.3.2 The Keyboard 10.3.3 The Mouse 10.4 0 Workplace Design 10.4.1 Office Layout
  2. 2. The AMCO/PACT Model of Office Layout Environmental Impacts 10.4.20 Workstation Design Work Analysis Anthropometric Concerns 10.4.3 Behavioral Concerns Territoriality Personal Space Backs and Sides Eye Contact Status Socialization 10.5 00Summary Chapter Overview Concern about productivity as well as the health, safety, and comfort of workers in the office workplace has led to increased interest in human factors, the application of information on physical and psychological characteristics to the design of devices and systems for human use. Human factors is generally used synonymously with the term ergonomics, the study of the natural laws of work. Ideally, office workers should be in an environment that fosters good work habits, combining design and usability principles that balance systems components of technology, procedures, and human needs. This chapter offered an overview of ergonomic principles related to software design, hardware design, and workplace design. Human factors principles that help define quot;user friendlyquot; software were discussed within three categories: user interfaces, screen layout, and performance support (learning aids). Command-, menu-, icon-, natural language-, pen-, and speech recognition technology-based interface systems were described. Issues related to effective interface design that centered on the need to provide users with a conceptual understanding of the interface and control the dialogue with the system were discussed. Guidelines for screen layouts that support data entry and software usability were outlined. Performance support, including paper-based documentation, help facilities, and on-line reference were discussed. Hardware design issues centered on the need for comfortable and safe monitors and keyboards. Health problems categorized as repetitive stress syndrome (RSI) or repetitive motion syndrome (RMI), include eye fatigue and strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, musculoskeletal disorders, fatigue, and stress are often attributed to the monitor and the design of keyboards and workstations. Conventional CRT monitors were compared to newer, yet much more expensive counterparts, LCD panels. In comparing monitors, the purchaser is wise to consider difference among options in terms of characteristics including resolution, size, glare, and reflection. Likewise, the purchaser has options with regard to keyboards. Keystroke pressure, tactile and auditory feedback, keyboard layout and profile, and key finish and shape--all affect user productivity. Mouse technology, likewise, is evolving. The mouse comes in any number of different sizes and shapes; the best mouse is one that the user finds most comfortable. The workplace has changed dramatically as a result of information technology. Traditional principles of office layout and design are no longer applicable, or not as applicable as they once were. AMCO-PACT, a framework for office design, helps the planner balance the ideal with real-life restrictions. In addition to layout, environmental impacts such as lighting, sound, air quality, and color have an impact on worker productivity, health, and morale. Bright colors, for example, are typically cafeteria,
  3. 3. not workplace, colors. Optimum lighting for computer use is not the same as lighting for other tasks, such as writing or sorting. Noise can make conversation or concentration difficult. The computer adds as much heat to a room as body heat from a worker, and this has an impact on an organization's HVAC requirements. Color schemes also impact productivity and worker morale. Finally, the workstation, an individual's work area, must be examined from both a technical and a human perspective. It is known, for example, that a good chair promotes good posture, that the proper table height can relieve musculoskeletal disorders, and that a flexible keyboard allows individuals to adjust their sitting positions, which is especially important for individuals who must sit at a desk for hours on end. People behave in predictable patterns. Issues of territoriality, personal space, backs and sides, status, and the need for socialization also have an impact on workstation design that supports productivity. In short, worker health and comfort can impact productivity. Software, hardware, and workspace design can be addressed through human factors. Applications of ergonomic principles already known, and still being developed, can have a very positive outcome for the organization and the individual. Teaching Suggestions 1. Demonstrations: A. Bring two different office chairs into the classroom, one chair ergonomically designed, the other more traditional. Have students evaluate each chair, describing them in ergonomic terms, and assessing their comfort and applicability to a VDT operator's job and to a manger's job. B. Bring several different keyboards into the classroom. The discussion of their design and comfort could be centered around a comparison of the keyboards. 2. Field Trips: A. Visit a local business office. Have students write a detailed report on the visit, describing its layout, air quality, noise level, equipment, furniture, colors, design, and so on. B. Visit the showroom of an office furniture supplier. Have students compare cost and quality of chairs, tables, and office accessories.