In this Unit:

Module Overview

Lesson Objective



Human Factors

Lab Exercises


Poor Designs


Additional Sites


Lab Exercises

Please complete the following lab exercises.

Lab Exercise 1

  1. Complete the lesson on Poor designs.
  2. Try and find a product that you feel does not meet intelligent human factors design criteria. In other words, look for a poorly designed object. (The object could be in your home, car, a store, yard...)
  3. Once you find the object, answer the following questions: 1) What are the well desgined aspects of the object? 2) What are the poorly designed aspects of the object? 3) How would you improve the design of the object?

Lab Exercise 2

  1. The Hick-Hyman Law helps describe how reaction time affects a person's decision making ability. Please read the following description of the Hick-Hyman Law.
  2. Try the reaction time experiment.
  3. Try another reaction time test (the Ruler Test):
    • Obtain a ruler and an assistant.
    • The ruler is held by the assistant between the outstretched index finger and thumb of the subject's dominant hand. The top of the subject's thumb is level with the zero cm line on the ruler. The assistant instructs the subject to catch the ruler as soon as possible after it has been released.
    • The assistant is to record distance between the bottom of the ruler and the top of the subject's thumb where the ruler has been caught.
    • The following equation can be used to deermine the reaction time of the subject:
    • t = (square root of (2 times distance divided by 9.8))
    • reaction time (in milliseconds) equals t divided by 1000.
    • t = (sqrt(2d/9.8))/1000
  4. Think about how reaction time would affect the design of automobiles. How long does it take to look down and change the radio station? How long does it take to hit the brakes when you see a car in front of you do the same? These are some of the things designers must keep in mind when making a car that is safe to drive.

Previous: Human FactorsNext: Human First