Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

Handbook of human factors and ergonomics

I'm often asked for reading suggestions, especially for references to the literature on Human Factors and Ergonomics.

In the past few months, I have been reading chapters of one book that has it all: Gavriel Salvendy's massive tome, the Handbook of human factors and ergonomics. It is huge, with over 1,500 pages and 61 chapters. It takes two pages just to list the advisors, ten pages to list the authors of the chapters. It is also expensive: $250.

Buy it.

The articles are all excellent. They all reflect up-to-date reviews of the areas they cover. They are wonderful self-study material, wonderful references, and would make excellent material in multiple courses. Yes, it is obscenely expensive, but this one book is the equivalent of ten normal books. Consider it as essential piece of professional equipment. Buy it. Use it.

If you don't know human factors, this is a great way to find the parts relevant to your work. And even if you are an expert, this book will be valuable because it is unlikely that you are expert at all the topics covered here, yet very likely you will need some of the ones you are not (yet) expert at. I follow my own advice. I consider myself an expert (I am a Fellow of the Human Factors Society), but I still learn each time I read from these pages.

So yes, grit your teeth and buy the book.

You can find the Table of Contents at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip057/2005003111.html
And also at the publisher (with brief abstract of each chapter):
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/bookhome/112467581/

Salvendy, G. (Ed.). (2005). Handbook of human factors and ergonomics (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
(Comment: The two terms, “Human Factors” and “Ergonomics” today mean the same thing, even though they have slightly different origins: Human Factors originated in the United States and Ergonomics primarily in Europe. The overlap in meaning is so high that a few years ago the American Human Factors Society changed their name to “Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.”)

Pointer to the book at Amazon.com

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