Week 1: Introduction to Human Factors

Welcome to Week 1, Introduction to Human Factors!

Learning Outcomes


  • If the user can’t use it, it does not work.
  • Designing a good user interface is multifaceted.
  • Whether a system is good or usable always depends on the context in which it is used.


  • What are the ABCS of designing user interfaces?
  • What are the four main steps in designing a good user interface according to ISO 9241-1?


  • List potential factors (from the ABCS) that impact the way in which a person would interact with a piece of technology

Preparing for the Lecture

If you only have time to do one thing, check out Susan Dray’s Rap at CHI 2014. (The cheerleader in the scarf and the black top is Elizabeth Churchill, by the way.)

The ABCS of User Centred Design [PDF]

What does User-Centred Design involve? The slides about the ABCS of UCD take you through a whirlwind tour of different aspects.

7 Aspects of Design [PDF]

What do we need to consider when designing and evaluating an IT system? The slides about 7 aspects of design discuss relevant properties of IT systems.

Here is a short podcast [5 minutes, 9 MB, MP3] to explain more.

ISO Requirements [PDF]

What are the processes  involved in designing a good IT system? This is the take of the standards organisation ISO. If you would like more context, listen to this short podcast [3 minutes, 5MB, MP3]


Core Paper

Gilbert Cockton: Usability Evaluation, in particular Sections 15.6 and 15.7

Those who have already taken the HCI course should also look at his take on usability metrics (15.4 and 15.5), while Design Informatics students will be interested in the first sections on the history of usability.




Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
Course Materials “The Human Factor” von Maria Klara Wolters ist lizenziert unter einer Creative Commons Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell 4.0 International Lizenz.