What is Human Factors

Human factors plays a role in every way that we engage with objects in the world.

It is the science. Human factors is the study of human behavior, human capabilities, and human limitations in the context of the environment where humans work, play, and live.

Human factors is an applied science. It is the application of theories, models, and data regarding human performance and interactions people have with their work place, work tools, toys, and more.

Human factors specialists are experts in human behavior as it relates to cognitive processing, in terms of physical interactions, and as human behavior is influenced by social and cultural interactions. We work with teams to assure products, services, and websites help end users achieve their goals given human capabilities and limitations.

As human factors specialists, we are also experts at research methods. We understand how to select the appropriate research methods and data to address the design or development question at hand.

In companies that focus on designing and developing products, services, and websites, human factors specialists can be found within any number of multidisciplinary teams.  Often human factors specialists are members of the user experience team.

User experience teams highlight the multidisciplinary nature of product design and development where specialists with backgrounds in visual design, information design, industrial design, human factors and other areas work to assure the product service, or website meets the end user’s need, be it at work, home and play.