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Taylor and Francis
Ergonomics is an international multi-disciplinary refereed journal with a 50 year tradition of publishing excellence. The journal reports research results on psychological, physiological, anatomical, and engineering design aspects of ergonomics, and is particularly concerned with optimizing system performance and safety, health and well-being. Research data from both developed and developing countries is reported. As well as peer-reviewed scientific papers, the journal features lively book reviews.


Example publications from this periodical

The following articles are from "Ergonomics":

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Volume 11
Issue 4

Wang, Ying, Mehler, Bruce, Reimer, Bryan, Lammers, Vincent, D'Ambrosio, Lisa and Coughlin, Joseph F. (2010): The validity of driving simulation for assessing differences between in-vehicle informational interfaces: A comparison with field testing. In Ergonomics, 11 (4) pp. 404-420.

Data from on-road and simulation studies were compared to assess the validity of measures generated in the simulator. In the on-road study, driver interaction with three manual address entry methods (keypad, touch screen and rotational controller) was assessed in an instrumented vehicle to evaluate relative usability and safety implications. A separate group of participants drove a similar protocol in a medium fidelity, fixed-base driving simulator to assess the extent to which simulator measures mirrored those obtained in the field. Visual attention and task measures mapped very closely between the two environments. In general, however, driving performance measures did not differentiate among devices at the level of demand employed in this study. The findings obtained for visual attention and task engagement suggest that medium fidelity simulation provides a safe and effective means to evaluate the effects of in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) designs on these categories of driver behaviour. Statement of Relevance: Realistic evaluation of the user interface of IVIS has significant implications for both user acceptance and safety. This study addresses the validity of driving simulation for accurately modelling differences between interface methodologies by comparing results from the field with those from a medium fidelity, fixed-base simulator.

© All rights reserved Wang et al. and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 19
Issue 3

Mandal, A. C. (1976): Work chair with tilting seat. In Ergonomics, 19 (3) pp. 157-....

Volume 39
Issue 8

Reid, Fraser J. M., Malinek, Vlastimil, Stott, Clifford J. T. and Evans, Jonathan ST. B. T. (1996): The messaging threshold in computer-mediated communication. In Ergonomics, 39 (8) pp. 1017-1037.

This study examines the effects of text-based computer-mediated communication on group interaction. Fourteen four-person teams were trained to use a networked computer system to produce a sequence of written reports either face-to-face (FTF), or from separate locations using a computer-mediated communication (CMC) system. Results showed that CMC teams took longer to complete their work, but produced reports of equivalent quality to FTF teams. Comparisons of interaction processes revealed a shortfall of social-emotional reactions and task-oriented requests in CMC interactions, but an increase in ingroup-oriented exchanges. Results are interpreted as evidence of a messaging threshold in CMC, in which the decision to send a message depends on the urgency and relevance of the message in relation to the costs associated with its communication. Implications of this threshold for understanding social interaction in CMC groups are discussed.

© All rights reserved Reid et al. and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 41
Issue 2

Dowell, John and Long, John (1998): Conception of the Cognitive Engineering Design Problem. In Ergonomics, 41 (2) pp. 126-139.

Volume 42
Issue 11

Rochlin, Gene I. (1999): Safe operation as a social construct. In Ergonomics, 42 (11) pp. 1549-1560. Available online

Empirical work on organizations that manage complex, potentially hazardous technical operations with a surprisingly low rate of serious incidents shows that operational safety is more than the management or avoidance of risk or error. Safety so de®ned is an ongoing intersubjective construct not readily measured in terms of safety cultures, structures, functions, or other commonly used descriptors of technical or organizational attributes that fail fully to take into account collective as well as individual agency. In the cases that the author has studied, it is represented by the interactive dynamic between operators and managers, as well as their engagement with operational and organizational conditions. The maintenance of safe operation so de®ned is an interactive, dynamic and communicative act, hence it is particularly vulnerable to disruption or distortion by well-meant but imperfectly informed interventions aimed at eliminating or reducing `human error’ that do not take into account the importance of the processes by which the construction of safe operation is created and maintained.

© All rights reserved Rochlin and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 44
Issue 1

Landstad, Bodil, Vinberg, Stig and Ivergard, Toni (2001): Change in pattern of absenteeism as a result of workplace intervention for personnel support. In Ergonomics, 44 (1) .

Volume 46
Issue 13

Liu, Yili (2003): Engineering aesthetics and aesthetic ergonomics: theoretical foundations and a dual-process research methodology. In Ergonomics, 46 (13) pp. 1273-1292.

Although industrial and product designers are keenly aware of the importance of design aesthetics, they make aesthetic design decisions largely on the basis of their intuitive judgments and "educated guesses". Whilst ergonomics and human factors researchers have made great contributions to the safety, productivity, ease-of-use, and comfort of human-machine-environment systems, aesthetics is largely ignored as a topic of systematic scientific research in human factors and ergonomics. This article discusses the need for incorporating the aesthetics dimension in ergonomics and proposes the establishment of a new scientific and engineering discipline that we can call "engineering aesthetics". This discipline addresses two major questions: How do we use engineering and scientific methods to study aesthetics concepts in general and design aesthetics in particular? How do we incorporate engineering and scientific methods in the aesthetic design and evaluation process? This article identifies two special features that distinguish aesthetic appraisal of products and system designs from aesthetic appreciation of art, and lays out a theoretical foundation as well as a dual-process research methodology for "engineering aesthetics". Sample applications of this methodology are also described.

© All rights reserved Liu and/or Taylor and Francis

Johnson, Daniel M. and Wiles, Janet (2003): Effective Affective User Interface Design in Games. In Ergonomics, 46 (13) pp. 1332-1345. Available online

t is proposed that games, which are designed to generate positive affect, are most successful when they facilitate flow (Csikszentmihalyi 1992). Flow is a state of concentration, deep enjoyment, and total absorption in an activity. The study of games, and a resulting understanding of flow in games can inform the design of non-leisure software for positive affect. The paper considers the ways in which computer games contravene Nielsen's guidelines for heuristic evaluation (Nielsen and Molich 1990) and how these contraventions impact on flow. The paper also explores the implications for research that stem from the differences between games played on a personal computer and games played on a dedicated console. This research takes important initial steps towards defining how flow in computer games can inform affective design.

© All rights reserved Johnson and Wiles and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 48
Issue 6

Luximon, A., Goonetilleke, Ravindra S. and Zhang, M. (2005): 3D foot shape generation from 2D information.. In Ergonomics, 48 (6) pp. 625-641. Available online

Two methods to generate an individual 3D foot shape from 2D information are proposed. A standard foot shape was first generated and then scaled based on known 2D information. In the first method, the foot outline and the foot height were used, and in the second, the foot outline and the foot profile were used. The models were developed using 40 participants and then validated using a different set of 40 participants. Results show that each individual foot shape can be predicted within a mean absolute error of 1.36 mm for the left foot and 1.37 mm for the right foot using the first method, and within a mean absolute error of 1.02 mm for the left foot and 1.02 mm for the right foot using the second method. The second method shows somewhat improved accuracy even though it requires two images. Both the methods are relatively cheaper than

© All rights reserved Luximon et al. and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 49
Issue 12

Furniss, Dominic and Blandford, Ann (2006): Understanding Emergency Medical Dispatch in terms of Distributed Cognition: a case study. In Ergonomics, 49 (12) pp. 1174-1203. Available online

Emergency medical dispatch (EMD) is typically a team activity, requiring fluid coordination and communication between team members. Such working situations have often been described in terms of distributed cognition (DC), a framework for understanding team working. DC takes account of factors such as shared representations and artefacts to support reasoning about team working. Although the language of DC has been developed over several years, little attention has been paid to developing a methodology or reusable representation which supports reasoning about an interactive system from a DC perspective. We present a case study in which we developed a method for constructing a DC account of team working in the domain of EMD, focusing on the use of the method for describing an existing EMD work system, identifying sources of weakness in that system, and reasoning about the likely consequences of redesign of the system. The resulting DC descriptions have yielded new insights into the design of EMD work and of tools to support that work within a large EMD centre.

© All rights reserved Furniss and Blandford and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 50

Sutter, Christine (2007): Sensumotor transformation of input devicesof input devices and the impact on practice and task difficulty. In Ergonomics, 50 (12) pp. 1999-2016.

Issue 5

Bitan, Yuval and Meyer, Joachim (2007): Self-initiated and respondent actions in a simulated control task. In Ergonomics, 50 (5) pp. 763-788. Available online

Issue 3

Armbrster, Claudia, Sutter, Christine and Ziefle, Martina (2007): Notebook input devices put to the age test: the usability of trackpoint and touchpad for middle-aged adults. In Ergonomics, 50 (3) pp. 426-445..

In two experiments, the usability of input devices integrated into computer notebooks was under study. The most common input devices, touchpad (experiment 1) and trackpoint (experiment 2) were examined. So far, the evaluation of mobile input devices has been restricted to younger users. However, due to ongoing demographic change, the main target group of mobile devices will be older users. Therefore, the present study focused on ageing effects. A total of 14 middle-aged (4065 years) and 20 younger (2032 years) users were compared regarding speed and accuracy of cursor control in a point-click and a point-drag-drop task. Moreover, the effects of training were addressed by examining the performance increase over time. In total, 640 trials per task and input device were executed. The results show that ageing is a central factor to be considered in input device design. Middle-aged users were significantly slower than younger users when executing the different tasks. Over time, a significant training effect was observed for both devices and both age groups, although the benefit of training was greater for the middle-aged group. Generally, the touchpad performance was higher than the trackpoint performance in both age groups, but the age-related performance decrements were less distinct when using the touchpad.

© All rights reserved Armbrster et al. and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 52
Issue 10

Moshagen, Morten, Musch, Jochen and Goritz, Anja S (2009): A blessing, not a curse: experimental evidence for beneficial effects of visual aesthetics on performance. In Ergonomics, 52 (10) pp. 1311-1320.

The present experiment investigated the effect of visual aesthetics on performance. A total of 257 volunteers completed a series of search tasks on a website providing health-related information. Four versions of the website were created by manipulating visual aesthetics (high vs. low) and usability (good vs. poor) in a 2 x 2 between-subjects design. Task completion times and error rates were used as performance measures. A main effect of usability on both error rates and completion time was observed. Additionally, a significant interaction of visual aesthetics and usability revealed that high aesthetics enhanced performance under conditions of poor usability. Thus, in contrast to the notion that visual aesthetics may worsen performance, visual aesthetics even compensated for poor usability by speeding up task completion. The practical and theoretical implications of this finding are discussed.

© All rights reserved Moshagen et al. and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 53
Issue 8

Thielsch, Meinald T. and Hirschfeld, Gerrit (2010): High and low spatial frequencies in website evaluations. In Ergonomics, 53 (8) pp. 972-978.

Which features of websites are important for users' perceptions regarding aesthetics or usability? This study investigates how evaluations of aesthetic appeal and usability depend on high vs. low spatial frequencies. High spatial frequencies convey information on fine details, whereas low spatial frequencies convey information about the global layout. Participants rated aesthetic appeal and usability of 50 website screenshots from different domains. Screenshots were either presented unfiltered, low-pass filtered with blurred targets, or high-pass filtered with high-pass filtered targets. The main result is that low spatial frequencies can be seen to have a unique contribution in perceived website aesthetics, thus confirming a central prediction from processing fluency theory. There was no connection between low spatial frequencies and usability evaluations, whereas strong correlations were found between ratings of high-pass filtered websites and those of unfiltered websites in aesthetics and usability. This study thus offers a new perspective on the biological basis of users' website perceptions.

© All rights reserved Thielsch and Hirschfeld and/or Taylor and Francis

Volume 56
Issue 5

Fincannon, Thomas, Keebler, Joseph R., Jentsch, Florian and Curtis, Michael T. (2013): The influence of camouflage, obstruction, familiarity, and spatial ability on target identification from an unmanned ground vehicle. In Ergonomics, 56 (5) pp. 739-751. Available online

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of environmental and cognitive factors on the identification of targets from an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). This was accomplished by manipulating obstruction, camouflage and familiarity of objects in the environment, while also measuring spatial ability. The effects of these variables on target identification were studied by measuring performance of participants that observed pre-recorded video from a 1:35 scaled military operations in urban terrain facility. Analyses indicated that a combination of camouflage and obstruction caused the most detrimental effects on performance, and that there were differences in the recognition of familiar and unfamiliar targets. Further analysis indicated that these detrimental effects could only be overcome with a combination of target familiarity and spatial ability. The findings highlight the degree to which environmental factors hinder performance and the need for a multidimensional approach for improving performance under these conditions. Areas in need of future research are also discussed.

© All rights reserved Fincannon et al. and/or Taylor and Francis

Issue 2

Pennathur, Priyadarshini R., Thompson, David, III, James H. Abernathy, Martinez, Elizabeth A., Pronovost, Peter J., Marsteller, Jill A., Gurses, Ayse P., Lubomski, Lisa H. and Kim, G.R. (2013): Technologies in the wild (TiW): human factors implications for patient safety in the cardiovascular operating room. In Ergonomics, 56 (2) pp. 205-219. Available online

We describe different sources of hazards from cardiovascular operating room (CVOR) technologies, how hazards propagate in the CVOR and their impact on cognitive processes. Previous studies have examined hazards from poor design of a specific CVOR technology. However, the impact of different CVOR technologies functioning in context is not clearly understood. In addition, the impact of non-design hazards in technology devices is unclear. Our study identified hazards from organisational, physical/environmental elements, in addition to design of technology in a CVOR. We used observations, follow-up interviews and photographs. With qualitative analyses, we categorised the different hazard sources and their potential impact on cognitive processes. Patient safety can be built into technologies by incorporating user needs in design, decision-making and implementation of medical technologies.

© All rights reserved Pennathur et al. and/or Taylor and Francis


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URL: http://www.interaction-design.org/references/periodicals/ergonomics.html

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