Identification of Human-System Interaction Errors during Early Design Stages Using a Functional Basis Framework

Nicolás F. Soria Zurita, Robert B. Stone, H. Onan Demirel, Irem Y. Tumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Engineers have developed different design methodologies capable of identifying failure modes of engineering systems. The most common methods used in industry are failure modes and effects analysis, and failure modes effects and criticality analysis. Nevertheless, such methodologies have a significant limitation regarding incorporating the final user in the analysis and are not suited to identifying potential failure modes caused by physical human-system interactions. Engineering methods usually have a lack of sufficient attention to human-system interactions during the early design stages, even though introducing human factors principles is recognized as an essential analysis during the design process. As a result, designers rely on developing detailed and expensive physical or virtual prototypes to evaluate physical human-system interactions and identify potential failure modes caused by such interactions incorporating design modifications after a prototype is developed can be time-consuming, costly, and if significant changes are needed, the entire prototype requires to be constructed again. Identifying system-user interactions and possible failure modes associated with such interactions before developing a prototype can significantly improve the design process. In previous work, the authors introduced the function-human error design method (FHEDM), a tool capable of distinguishing possible human-system interaction failure modes using a functional basis framework. In this work, we examined the implementation of FHEDM within 148 products extracted from the design repository. The results are grouped in the composite function-user interaction error (FUIE) matrix, which can be used as a preliminary design database presenting information regarding the possible human error present in function-flow combinations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011005
JournalASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part B: Mechanical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020


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