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Human Factors Methods

In this page you will find a selection of Human Factors methods used in our research and consultancy activities

NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX)

The NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) is a multy dimensional rating procedure that rates perceived workload in order to assess a task, system, or team's effectiveness or other aspects of performance. It allows to evaluates subjects’ workload on six subscales: mental demand, physical demand, temporal demand, own performance, effort, and frustration. This instrument is widely used in a variety of domains, including aviation, healthcare and other complex socio-technical domains. The NASA-TLX has had a major influence in human factors research, originally developed as a paper and pencil questionnaire by NASA Ames Research Center’s (ARC) Sandra Hart in the 1980s, NASA TLX has become the gold standard for measuring subjective workload across a wide range of applications

Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA)

Hierarchical Task Analysis is the most popular task analysis method and is perhaps the most widely used Human Factors method available. It involves describing the activities under analysis in terms of hierarchi of goals, sub-goals, operations and plans. The final result is a detailed description of specific task activities. HTA act as an input for many advanced Human Factors methos and this is the reason for it's enduring popularity. It has been applaied accross a variety of domains such as process control and power generation industries, emergency services, military application, civil aviation, driving, public technology and retail.

Sistematic Human Error Reduction and Prediction Approach (SHERPA)

The Sistematic Human Error Reduction and Prediction Approach (SHERPA) was developed by Embrey in 1986. It's first application was for nuclear reprocessing industry and nowadays is the most used Human Error Identification approach with further application in domains such as aviation, public technology, in-car devices, and many more. It starts with a Hierarchical Task Analysis of the scenario under consideration, further applying an error mode taxonomy linked to a behavioural taxonomy to it. Literature has showed that SHERPA is the most successful Human Error Identification system methods in terms of accuracy of error prediction.

Applied Cognitive Task Analysis (ACTA)

The Applied Cognitive Task Analysis (ACTA) procedure was developed by Militello and Hutton in 2000 as part of a Navy Personnel Research and Development Centre funded project as a solution to the inaccessibility and difficulty associated witht the application of existing cognitive task analisys type methods. ACTA offers a toolkit of interview methods that can be used to analyse the cognitive demands associated with a particular task or scenario. The main purpose of this procedure is to allow system designers to extract the critical cognitive elements of a particular task.