Main terms and concepts

Usability

Definition

The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use. This requires a degree of access to the necessary information.

Related concepts/examples

Operability, Ease of use, user friendliness, user satisfaction, restartability, reachability, recoverability, robustness, visibility, possibility to undo and redo operations, consistency, possibility to achieve a goal in more than one way, communicability

Reference

ISO 9241-11, http://www.usabilitynet.org

Operability

Definition

The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use. This requires a degree of access to the necessary information.

Related concepts/examples

Controlability, reliability, workability

Reference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operability

Maintainability

Definition

The ability to access and complete the activities required to keep an equipment, a system or a whole installation in a safe and reliably functioning condition, according to pre-defined operational requirements. This includes support in alerting to the need for maintenance.

Related concepts/examples

Testability, supportability

Reference

http://www.testability.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maintainability

Accessibility

Definition

The ability to physically access a required area, control, or piece of equipment and complete the movements required while wearing the clothing and carrying the personal equipment or items expected during regular or maintenance operations in normal, adverse and emergency conditions.

Related concepts/examples

Access to hatches and valves
Access to hardware within a console

Occupational health

Definition

The effect of work, the working environment and living conditions on the health, safety, and well-being of the user.

Related concepts/examples

Slips, trips and falls, fatigue (caused e.g. by shift scheduling)

Reference

First Session of the Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health (1950); http://www.agius.com/hew/resource/ohsilo.htm

System safety and emergency response

Definition

Actions taken to control the risks directly associated with people using (or misusing) a system.

Related concepts/examples

Survivability, safety

Reference

First Session of the Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health (1950); http://www.agius.com/hew/resource/ohsilo.htm

Terms to consider for each main term/concept

Operator characteristics

Definition

Physical and psychological characteristics of the user that designers should take into account when designing equipment and systems for optimal usability and operability.

Related concepts/examples

Anthropometry
User's nationality and preferred language
Fatigue (caused e.g. by personal factors)
Muskuloskeletal demands

Physical arrangement of equipment

Definition

Arrangement and space allocation of the piece of equipment within the greater working environment.

Related concepts/examples

Location of a particular console with respect to other pieces of equipment on the bridge
Location of a pipe with respect to passageways
Location of a hatch with respect to passageways

Interaction design

Definition

Software and hardware design that takes into account how people perceive, interpret and use information and interfaces (i.e. human cognitive and perceptual abilities) by applying best practice design principles in order to maximize task performance, and minimize ergonomic problems or hazards.

Related concepts/examples

Design of physical workplace components (e.g. location of various pieces of equipment on a console with respect to each other)
Feedback to the user
Data display
Consistent use of symbols and colors
Error prevention and recovery
Simplicity

Reference

Wickens et al. (2004). An introduction to human factors engineering. p.384

Work environment

Definition

The totality of all physical, chemical, biological and psychological factors at work that may affect the users' health and well-being through acute trauma or lasting exposure.

Related concepts/examples

Climate, air conditioning, ventilation
Noise and acoustics (hearing protection, facility design, non-hazardous noise)
Vibration
Illumination and lighting (including dark adaptation and night vision and sunlight)
The ship at sea (green seas, ship movement, weather conditions)

Training and familiarization

Definition

The acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. This includes both the official training itself, as well as training through job components (e.g. the quality of manuals, guidance and familiarization materials, computer based training and on the job training).

Related concepts/examples

Learnability
Learning to use new equipment
Learning to use modified equipment
Refresher course for using new/modified/unfamiliar equipment
Learning to improve work practices

Reference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Training