Human Factors in Computing

Course Description

The term human factors (or ergonomics) in computing is defined and relevant norms are elaborated. Possible health hazards introduced by using computing equipment are explained and preventive measures are suggested. Ergonomics of computerised working environment is elaborated analysing the impact of visual displays, input and output devices, interior arrangements, microclimate, noise and illumination on workplace design. Appropriate practical solutions are presented. Regarding the software ergonomics, fundamental principles of human-computer interaction are explained, with emphasis on user interface design for desktop, web and mobile applications.

General Competencies

The course informs students about possible health hazards of a modern workplace and explains how to reduce these hazards. By getting acquainted with fundamental principles of human factors (ergonomics) in computing systems, students are encouraged to design and improve their own workplace or give advice to others to design workplace according to ergonomic principles. The course gives fundamental knowledge about the development of usable user interfaces for desktop, web and mobile applications.

Learning Outcomes

  1. identify the importance of standards and relevant legal provisions related to ergonomics
  2. explain the basic principles of user interface development
  3. distinguish ergonomics-related factors related to computer workstations
  4. modify user interfaces in order to increase usability of software products
  5. analyze possible health risks with computer workstations
  6. define software requirements related to the user interfaces accessibility
  7. evaluate ergonomic quality of workplace in computer environment
  8. identify assistive technology for access to computers

Forms of Teaching


Direct lectures of 2 hours in length are held once a week.


Continuous examination is performed in the form of 10-minute exams on selected lectures.

Laboratory Work

Laboratory exercises are performed at home as part of homework.


According to arrangement with the lecturer, with announcement via e-mail.

Grading Method

By decision of the Faculty Council, in the academic year 2019/2020. the midterm exams are cancelled and the points assigned to that component are transferred to the final exam, unless the teachers have reassigned the points and the grading components differently. See the news for each course for information on knowledge rating.
Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Homeworks 40 % 20 % 40 % 20 %
Quizzes 0 % 30 % 0 % 30 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 20 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 33 % 30 %
Exam: Written 50 % 50 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Ergonomics and human factors as a scientific discipline. Introduction to human factors. Human factors in computing.
  2. Fundamentals of ergonomics: antropometry, work physiology and sociology, organisation. Aesthetics and ergonomics. System Human-Machine.
  3. Standardization and standards in ergonomics. Legislation in the world and in Croatia.
  4. Hardware ergonomics: monitor, computer, peripherals: keyboard, mouse.
  5. Health hazards on a computerised workplace. Practical exercises for relaxation, stretching and rest for eyes.
  6. Ergonomics of computerised workplace: room microclimate, noise.
  7. Ergonomics of computerised workplace: interior arrangements, furniture, workplace illumination. Examples of properly arranged computerised workplaces.
  8. Mid-term exam.
  9. Software ergonomics. Fundamentals of user interface design. Window management.
  10. Fundamentals of human-computer interaction. Basics of user interface programming. Tools for user interface programming.
  11. Haptic interfaces. Video games, PCs, touch sensitive screens. Virtual reality. History, application, design and research.
  12. Adaptation of hardware to handicapped persons. Accessibility standards.
  13. Software product quality models. Measurements and metrics. Usability models. Quality standards.
  14. Usability on World Wide Web. Usability evaluation methods.
  15. Final exam.

Study Programmes

University undergraduate
Computer Engineering (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Computer Science (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Control Engineering and Automation (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Electrical Power Engineering (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Electronic and Computer Engineering (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Electronics (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Information Processing (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Software Engineering and Information Systems (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Telecommunication and Informatics (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)
Wireless Technologies (module)
Elective Courses (6. semester)


Mikšić, Dragutin (1997.), Uvod u ergonomiju, Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Fakultet strojarstva i brodogradnje
Kroemer, Karl H. E; Grandjean, Etienne (2000.), Prilagođavanje rada čovjeku: ergonomski priručnik, Naklada Slap, Jastrebarsko
Shneiderman, Ben; Plaisant, Catherine; Cohen, Maxine; Jacobs, Steven (2009.), Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, Addison-Wesley

Laboratory exercises


ID 34327
  Summer semester
L1 English Level
L2 e-Learning

Grading System

90 Excellent
75 Very Good
60 Good
50 Acceptable