Re: To Human Factors or not to Human Factors

Subject: Re: To Human Factors or not to Human Factors
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: James Jones <doc-x -at- earthlink -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 16:05:28 -0500

> 'Human Factors' was, I thought, an engineering discipline that studies the
> motivations and acts of people as they use objects that are engineered. The
> results of these studies are used in engineering new product designs.

Correct.

> 'Usability' I think is the term for Human Factors as it is applied to
> computers.

Incorrect. Usability applies to all inventions, from pencils to
reactors (and of course software).

> Makes sense to me that you take the Human Factors course in your tech comm
> program. That they call it 'Human Factors' and not 'Usability' implies to me
> that the topics that they will be introducing will be more on the
> engineering new products side of the equation. This is very germane to
> technical communication.

Usability involves human factors, and many times the two terms are
synonymous. Either way, I agree, a course such as this is extremely
valuable for a tech writer to take.

--
Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner
42.8162,-73.7736
http://techcommdood.blogspot.com
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: To Human Factors or not to Human Factors: From: Bill Swallow
RE: To Human Factors or not to Human Factors: From: James Jones

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