Human Factors in Software Development

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The contemporary world is indeed an information society. Computer technologies pervade virtually all aspects of human life today: at home, in hospitals, at school, in the office, or in the industries. More and more novel technologies continue to be added on the already existing ones. While the technological aspects are important, the human factors in the development of the software sued in these technologies have been overlooked. Human factors are an essential aspect of the software development process in order to ensure user safety, and ease of use. However, there has been a lot of attention on the technical aspects of the software development process at the expense of the human aspect. This paper examines the human-computer interaction aspect or the human factors involved in computer science, and particularly in software engineering. The paper will first define what human factors or human-computer interaction is, then a brief historical account of this field before looking at its importance. Definition of Human Factors and Brief History of the Concept Human factors is a scientific field that deals with the understanding of interactions between humans and other aspects of a system and the application of theories, data, principles and methods of design with the aim of maximizing human safety and the general system performance. In essence, human factors are generally concerned with the human-computer interaction, as well as ergonomics (Bannon, 1991). Human factors field is interested in the fit between the system, the user, and their environments. It considers the user’s capabilities and limitations in ensuring that tasks, roles, information and the environment are suitable for every user. Human computer in... ... middle of paper ... ...ning costs. Works Cited Bannon, L.J. (1991). ‘From human factors to human actors: the role of psychology and human- computer interaction studies in systems design’. In Greenbaum, J., & Kyng, M. Design at work: cooperative design of computer systems. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Brookhuis, K., et al. (2005). Handbook of human factors and ergonomics models. Florida: CRC Press. Carey, J. (2004). The role of human-computer interaction in management information systems curricula: a call to action. Communications of the Association for Information Systems 13: 357-279. Seffah, A., Gulliksen, J., & Desmarais, M. C. (2006). Human-centered software engineering- integrating usability in the software. New York: Springer. Stanton, N., et al. (2005). Human factors methods: a practical guide for engineering and design. Aldershot: Ashgate Limited.
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