Introduction of New Technology: HUMAN FACTORS

Table of Contents

  1. Definition of Human Factors
  2. Who Needs to Know about Human factors?
  3. How to introduce New Technology: Conversion Stragies
  4. Where do we have to consider Human Factors
  5. How are we considering Human Factors

Definition of Human Factors

Human Factors and Ergonomics - fields which attempt to design technology specifically for human use and not for technology's sake. In system design, ergonomics attempts to make communication between the human processor and the computer processor easier for the human.

Back to Table of Contents

Who Needs to know about Human Factors?

  1. Designers
  2. IS Groups
  3. Managers
  4. Example of Alpha Company (psuedo name)

Back to Table of Contents

Conversion Strategies

There are many ways of introducing new technology. Each have their pros and cons and must be thoroughly reviewed before any introduction is done. What follows are a few methods.

  1. Direct Cutover
  2. Parallel Conversion
  3. Pilot Study
  4. Phased Approach

Back to Table of Contents

Where We need to consider Human Factors


Erogonomics is considered during the design of hardware to reduce the risk that a user will get an Repetitive Stress/Strain Injury (RSI) or a Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD).

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an example of a Repetitive Stress Injury most likely caused by typing. The shape of a an old-style keyboard tends to force people to awkwardly bend their wrists. This awkward bending is referred to as ulnar deviation. When tpying with your wrists in this position, the tendons that connect your wrist to your fingers, which in turn allows you to move your fingers, rub together. This rubbing can irritate the sheaths which cover your tendons, allowing them to glide smoothly in your arm. Through repeated trauma, these sheaths swell and fill in the narrow opening which the tendons travel through, called the Carpal Tunnel. Not only does this restrict movement, but this swelling chokes the median nerve and the blood flow to this nerve, causing pain and, in some cases, even paralysis. Ergonomic keyboards are designed to keep the wrist in a more natural position, lessening the chances that this swelling will occur.

Change of technology is only one part in reducing the risks of injury. Other considerations are to reduce repetitive and sedentary tasks, making tasks more dynamic.

The numbers of injury claims at insurance companies for computer-related injuries have increased in the last decade, forcing businesses to take a closer look in to how hardware is designed.

Back to Table of Contents

Design Guidelines for Software Developement

Back to Table of Contents


How should the new Web PCs be introduced to the home?

Will color and style eventually become an important part of introducing technology to the World?


Laudon, Kenneth C. and Jane Price,. Information Systems: A problem solving approach. 3rd Ed. Fort Woth: The Dryden Press, 1995. Pp. 348-9.

Bridger, R. S. Introduction to Ergonomics. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1995.

Back to Table of Contents

How are we now considering human factors with the introduction of new technology?

Major Goals and Motivations Behind Office Automation:

Guidelines When Introducing a New Office system:

Benefits/Disadvantages to Automation:

Dimensions of an office (what makes up an office):

Definition of an Office:

"The concept of the office can be seen as one of the most consistent threads in any culture for systems of government and manufacture may change beyond recognition but in any organization of human beings which extends beyond the smallest group, the word "office" and the ideas it represents, emerge as stable components of language"


Office Information Systems (OIS):

  1. Meet with the office manager
  2. Produce initial procedure descriptions
  3. Develop and analyze a draft description
  4. Iterate the interview process
  5. Review the analysis with the manager
  6. Finalize the office description


If a technical system causes changes that do not contribute directly to business success and/or it reduces job satisfaction, this system should not have been introduced.

Future of office automation (IEEE proceedings of 1983):

Back to Table of Contents