16 Mar 2023

Making sense of skills

One of the common problems human factors practitioners face is explaining exactly what human factors is. But Dr Steven Shorrock tackles the challenge from a different perspective by looking at what it isn’t.

Writing on his personal blog, the Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist challenges the belief some people have that “human factors is just common sense”.

He claims this dismisses the difficult and complex aspects of the discipline and the knowledge and skills that are needed and he argues that successful design can often be overlooked.

Steven, co-author of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Practice, says: “When a task, artefact or environment is well-designed, it’s more likely to be unremarkable or even unnoticeable. It blends in with, and subtly assists, the purposive flow of experience. It’s part of ‘how things ought to be’.

“So, it may intuitively feel like common sense because it doesn’t make the day longer and harder than it needs to be but the activities to bring about these things, including the competencies, relationships, tools, time, project arrangements, and other resources, are not common.”

Read the full blog

Related topics