Undergraduate Degree



DR2011 Human Factors for Design

[Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre requisite: Nil; Academic Unit: 3.0]

Academic Unit: 3 AU

Pre-requisite: Nil

Learning Objectives

This objective of this course is to introduce human factors (HF) theory and practice to design students so that they can apply knowledge of human factors to improve the function and usability of products, environments, and services.



This course is designed to develop an understanding of human anthropometrics, physiology, biomechanics and psychology. It provides a multidisciplinary background in these areas, as well as their application to the practical problems in ergonomics and usability that are encountered when designing products, environments, and services.

Course Outline





Introduction to Human Factors for Design

Scope & objectives of subject and applicability in Design

Basic Terms and Fundamental Design Concepts



2 - 4

Physical Ergonomics

Anatomical, Physiological & Biomechanical Considerations

Anthropometry & Population Diversity

Working & Lifting Postures

Hand Tools & Musculoskeletal Disorders

Ergonomics of Chair Design

Workplace & Workstation Design

Environmental Considerations

Users with Specific Needs



5 - 7

Project 1 – Physical Ergonomics

Analysis, evaluation and design/redesign of a new or existing product.




Cognitive Ergonomics

User-Centred Design Process

Human Factors in Systems

Product for Consumer & Enterprise

Model of Human Information Processor

Memory & Mental Models

Decision Making, Attention & Workload

Human Perception

Information Graphics and Visuals

Display Compatibility, Population stereotype

Visual Display for Dynamic information

Auditory, Tactual and Olfactory Display

Speech Communications

Design for Automation

Design of Controls




Project 2- Cognitive Ergonomics

Analysis, evaluation and design/redesign of a new or existing product or environment or service







Learning Outcome

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be better equipped to design products (or systems) with good attributes in physical and cognitive ergonomics. They will also be able to solve practical problems related to health and safety issues encountered in industrial and service environments.


Student Assessment

Students will be assessed based by:

Continuous Assessment (100%)

Two projects of equal weightage: The projects will be team-based, with each project assessed on: understanding of basic HF concepts (25%), innovative applications of HF principles (25%), thoroughness in HF assessments (25%), teamwork & individual contributions (25%)   



Textbook / References

1)     Kroemer K.H.E. Fitting the Human: Introduction to Ergonomics (6th ed). CRC Press, 2008.

2)     Sanders M.S., McCormick E.J., Human Factors in Engineering and Design, McGraw Hill, 1993. (the latest 7th edition is published in 1993)

3)    Tilley A. R., Henry Dreyfuss Associates, The Measure of Man and Woman: Human Factors in Design, John Wiley & Sons, 2002.