Introduction to Human Factors Engineering by Christopher D. Wickens, John Lee, Yili D. Liu, Sallie

By Christopher D. Wickens, John Lee, Yili D. Liu, Sallie Gordon-Becker

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This Function 3 Function 1 Function 4 Function 2 Function 5 Function 1 Function 1 Function 2 Function 3 1 1 Function 2 Function 4 Function 5 2 1 1 Function 3 1 3 1 1 Function 4 1 1 1 Function 5 0 1 1 3 2 2 FIGURE 3 Graphical and matrix representations of information flows among functions. 28 Design and Evaluation Methods approach is most useful when there are many functions and the graphs become too complex to interpret by looking at them. Chapter entitled “Engineering Anthropometry and Work Space Design” describes how this approach can be used for determining the appropriate layout for equipment.

Contrast sensitivity may be defined as the reciprocal of the minimum contrast between a lighter and darker spatial area that can just be detected; that is, with a level of contrast below this minimum, the two areas appear homogeneous. Hence, the ability to detect contrast is necessary in order to detect and recognize shapes, whether the discriminating shape of a letter or the blob of a pothole. The contrast of a given visual pattern is typically expressed as the ratio of the difference between the luminance of light, L, and dark, D, areas to the sum of these two luminance values: c = (L Ϫ D)/(L + D) (3) The higher the contrast sensitivity that an observer possesses, the smaller the minimum amount of contrast that can just be detected, CM, a quantity that describes the contrast threshold.

This redesign and evaluation continues for many iterations, sometimes as many as 10 or 20. The questions answered during this stage of the design process include 1. Do the identified features and functions match user preferences and meet user requirements? 2. Are there any existing constraints with respect to design of the system? 3. What are the human factors criteria for design solutions? 4. Which design alternatives best accommodate human limits? 30 Design and Evaluation Methods Providing Input for System Specifications Once information has been gathered, with respect to user characteristics, basic tasks or activities, the environment(s), and user requirements, the design team writes a set of system specifications and conceptual design solutions.

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