Professional foundations

Human Science Knowledge

Knowing that………

Human Factors Methods

Knowing how…………

Anthropometry, Lighting, Vision, Cognition, Organisation Design, Learning, Aging

Task Analysis, Context of Use Analysis, Workstation Design, HCI design, TNA, Team design

Professional practice

Knowing that……….

Knowing how (to make things happen)…..

User organisation,

Technical environment,

Equipment knowledge,

Physical environment,

Mission, CONOPS,

HF Integration

Design specification, review,

Issue, risk management,

Plans, policies, strategies,

Working with engineers, other specialists, HR people,


Roles and Responsibilities

Role Practitioner
Duties Conducting specialist tasks (e.g. task analysis) within an HCD programme of work.
Corporate risk from incompetence Programme delay, design defects that will be picked up elsewhere in the programme.
Corporate perception An expense, ranging from worthy to unnecessary (depending on circumstances). Sometimes just a nuisance.
New KSA over previous role (Human Science researcher) Getting results that influence design or operation within a time and a budget.


Role Consultant
Duties Design review, customer advice, supplier oversight.
Corporate risk from incompetence Poor product or system usability, significant cost and programme overruns
Corporate perception An expense that is hard to judge. Sometimes a friend, sometimes a risk.
New KSA over previous role (practitioner) Deep technical expertise, Understanding of project implications, commercial issues.


Role Manager
Duties Devising and running an HCD programme of work (e.g. HFIP, HEPP).
Corporate risk from incompetence Poor product usability, significant cost and programme overruns. More usually, where the customer has mandated HCD, this role and the customer are pushed into selling a poor design.
Corporate perception An expense, a risk, usually unnecessary.
New KSA over previous role Management skills, focus on user-centred design rather than human scientist-centred design. Significant skill levels required - see Jonathan Earthy's mapping to SFIA.


Role Process Owner
Duties (Self) assessment against process model, structured process improvement. Scope of activity assured is at least project-wide, certainly much broader than an HCD programme such as an HFIP or HEPP. Almost certainly crosses project boundaries.
Corporate risk from incompetence As per manager.
Corporate perception Supplier: big risk if poor usability normal. Customer or supplier that wants to deliver usability: significant de-risking. (First role that has a realistic chance of being seen as positive). Resource can be funded as a function of assessed risk.
New KSA over previous role Process view of the world. Process assessment and improvement training. Ability to deal with all levels of organisation, all HFI domains, and integrate with System Engineering.


Role Authority
Duties Authorise (or refuse to authorise) a system as suitable for safe operation.
Corporate risk from incompetence Product recall, loss of life, corporate failure.
Corporate perception The buck stops here.
New KSA over previous role Full understanding of all risks.