Archive for the ‘design’ Category

When human error isn’t

25 Aug

One of today’s headlines is Human error causes most Predator crashes.

Without reading the article, it should be obvious that this statement is simply not true. If there is a common recurring problem attributed to human error, it is most likely actually a design error.

A caption in that article reads

Research shows that most Predator mishaps are the result of inadequate skills, lack of teamwork and lack of situational awareness.

This could just as easily be rewritten:

Research shows that most Predator mishaps are the result of poor design. The controls as designed to not promote situational awareness, require extensive teamwork and higher than normal levels of skill to operate.

Rather than trying to adapt people to your designs, adapt your designs to the people who will be using them. If there’s a lack of teamwork, don’t require it. If situational awareness is a necessity, make sure your design promotes it, if the people using your design do not possess the necessary skills, don’t require those skills.

I’m not saying that’s easy, but those mishaps cost $1 million to $4 million according to the article, so it’s obviously well worth the effort.

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