Human Factors Engineering

The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

What are the topics?

The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Operations

Operations management has recently become a crucial part of any company's framework. This complex process focuses on reducing organizational expenses ...

Who should attend

This course is intended for 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


Ergonomics engineer

Safety engineer

Forensic expert

Training needs analyst

Systems/integration engineer

Occupational therapist

About the course

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 59th year—provides essential user interface design experience for anyone looking to improve their organization through proven evaluation techniques.


Week One

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


  1. Introduction to Human Factors Engineering
  • 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?
  1. Human Visual Functions
  • 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
  1. Visual Displays
  • 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?
  1. Advanced 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?


  1. Engineering Anthropometry
  • Traditional techniques for measuring human body size, strength, and range of motion
  • 3D and other techniques
  • Analysis of anthropometric data (human variation, sampling, statistics)
  • Data bases and software for human accommodation
  1. Skills, Motor Behavior, and Manual Controls
  • Fittss Law and the control of discrete movements to small targets
  • Models and theories of continuous tracking
  • Rhythmic pattern generation
  1. Controls
  • 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?


  1. Occupational Biomechanics I

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?

  1. Occupational Biomechanics II

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

  1. Perception, Memory, and Cognition

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?


  1. Decision Making and Cognitive Task Analysis
  • 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?
  1. Manual / Nonmanual Task Analysis
  • Time study
  • Activity sampling
  • Predetermined time systems
  • Key references


  1. Introduction to Human-Systems Integration
  • 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?
  1. Situation Awareness
  • 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?
  1. Human Error and Safety
  • 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

  1. Inclusive Design
  • 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?
  1. Experimental Design and Analysis
  • 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?

Week Two

Week two presents an overview of major topics and issues in human-computer interaction (HCI), along with mini-workshops and seminars on selected principles, methods, and procedures that provide the foundation for effective HCI systems and web application design.


  1. Trends in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • What does HCI study?
  • What are the people, task, and technology trends?
  • How does innovation occur?
  • What are the display trends?
  • Location and activity aware computing
  1. Collaborative and Social 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?
  1. Website Interface Design
  • 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?
  1. Usability Testing
  • 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?


  1. Introduction to the Keystroke-Level Model (KLM) and KLM Problem
  • 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
  1. Model Human Processor and Problem
  • " 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
  1. Methods for Evaluating User Interfaces
  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Cognitive walkthrough
  • Thinking aloud
  • Real world testing


  1. Software Human Factors in the Product Development Cycle
  • Prescriptivism
  • Agile development
  • Task-centered design
  1. Cost-Benefit Analysis for HCI
  • User-centered design
  • What is usability worth?
  • Hypothetical case study
  • Metrics for cost-benefit
  • Calculating ROI
  • Horror studies
  1. Speech Interface Design and Evaluation
  • 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?


  1. Workload
  • 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?
  1. Automation
  • 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


  1. Environmental Ergonomics
  • Heat
  • Vibration and motion
  • Sound and noise
  1. Responsibilities of the Usability Professional
  • For yourself
  • For your organization/employer
  • How do you get human factors work done?
  • Why is getting human factors work done so difficult?


Debra Jones

Debra oversees the administrative assistants in the College and provides support to her own case load of faculty. She assigns, prioritizes and distributes work to the support staff and coordinates with faculty regarding recruitment activities, including the administration and management applicant...

Deborah Boehm-Davis

Dr. Deborah Boehm-Davis is now retired from George Mason University; she holds the position of Emeritus University Professor of Psychology. Her last position at Mason was as Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She worked on applied cognitive research at General Electric, NASA A...

Bruce Bradtmiller

Bruce Bradtmiller joined Anthrotech in 1983 as a research assistant. After nearly a decade of hard work and growth, Bradtmiller and spouse Carol Cottom purchased the company in 1992, and he became president at that time. During his time at Anthrotech, Bradtmiller, along with domestic and intern...

Neil Charness

Research Interests Human factors approaches to understanding aging and technology use; older driver and pedestrian safety. Current Research Human Factors approach to understanding design and use of technology by an aging population. The CREATE IV project is part of a Program Project grant funded ...

Paul Green

Dr. Paul A. Green is a research professor in UMTRI's Driver Interface Group and an adjunct professor in the University of Michigan (U-M) Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE). He is also a past president of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Dr. Green teaches automotive...

Richard Jagacinski

My bachelor’s degree is in electrical engineering from Princeton University, and my doctoral degree is in experimental psychology from the University of Michigan. My research explores rhythm in athletic and musical performance (e.g., golf, drumming), vehicular control, the effects of aging on per...

Clayton Lewis

Clayton Lewis is Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science. He is well known for his research on evaluation methods in user interface design. Two methods to which he and his colleagues have contributed, the thinking aloud method and the cognitive walkthrough,...

Michael Nebeling

I'm an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, where I created the Information Interaction Lab. We study the next generation of user interfaces, as well as the methods and tools to create them. With the goal of making interfaces easier to use and to create, our re...

Nadine Sarter

Research Interests: Applications Multimodal Displays, Decision Support Systems, Context-Sensitive Designs Ergonomics & Human Factors Cognitive Ergonomics Human-Automation Interaction Human-Robot Interaction Multimodal Displays Biography: Professor Sarter teaches courses in cognitive ergonom...

Jacob Seagull

F. Jacob Seagull, is Assistant Professor of Learning Health Sciences. He has worked since 2000 in the field of medical human factors, quality improvement and patient safety. He founded and currently directs the Patient Safety and Quality Leadership (PASQUAL) Scholars program, and co-directs the M...

Videos and materials

Human Factors Engineering at The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

This course has no confirmed dates in the future. Subscribe to be notified when it is offered.

Something went wrong. We're trying to fix this error.

Thank you

Someone from the Coursalytics team will be in touch with you soon.


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Operations

When it comes to operations control, whether you’re trying to optimize workflow or marketing and sales operations, you need to impact as many variables at once as possible in order to have a greater effect. However, it's not always that easy. How sho...

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.