Future perspectives, reduction, and prevention of human error

Frese et al. (1991) suggested that there should be more emphasis on error management when attempting to reduce or prevent errors. In training, miscommunication, misuse or inappropriate installation errors should be avoided with the application of effective strategies in handling errors. In addition, production designed should be made appropriately to support error management.

Practical approaches to errors in HCI such as support of error management either by training or by production system, and reduction of errors by both system and training can be utilized as suggested by Frese an colleagues (1991) and Zapf, Frese, Irmer, and Brodbeck (1991). For knowledge errors, training is particularly relevant. This is also suggested by the differences between new employees and much experienced heads.

Training to increase employee knowledge should not only teach information about the production system, but also about typical error situations and strategies or heuristics to deal with errors. In aviation or airline industry, 60-80% of human error cases in 1983 to 1985 have lead to accidents or mishaps due to failures in collaboration among the crews, especially in faulty crew resource management and poor pilot performance (U. S. General Accounting Office, 1997; Freeman & Simmon, 1991).

Human error is inevitable and it requires a great deal of information and management. Salas, Burke, Bowers, & Wilson (2001) suggested that errors can be avoided by providing training, improving teamwork skills, and developing programming systems that will promote error avoidance, early error detection, and minimization of risks and negative consequences. This paper discusses the nature and other aspects or human error in relation to human-computer interaction.

Error can be understood in terms of their functionality problems, usability problems, inefficiency, and interaction problems. Active errors and latent errors are the two types of errors. Active errors produce results that are immediately felt while latent errors affect performance and their adverse consequences usually appear dormant for a long period and eventually become apparent when they are combined with other factors that prevent the system’s preventive functions.

Knowledge based, rule based and skill based are also considered as other types of human error. The effective utilization of HCI in interdisciplinary fields has contributed to increased global awareness for it helps professionals or practitioners in achieving increased productivity, enhanced quality of life as well as products and services, improved competitiveness, and more effective use of computers or machines.

Thus, HCI has resulted to provide tremendous value for researchers, academicians, and students in different areas of knowledge. Prevention and avoidance strategies can be made as suggested by authors mentioned above in order to effectively manage human errors, accidents, mishaps, or threats that might negatively affect human resources, organizational performance and profitability.


Bogner, M. S. (Ed. ). (1994). Human Error in Medicine. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Brodbeck, F. C. , Prumper, J. , & Zapf, D. (1988). Was denken Experten uber Benutzerfehler? Phanomene, Ursachen and Behandlungsstrategien von Fehlern bei der Arbeit mit Buro-Software. [What do experts think about user errors? Phenomena, causes, and coping strategies of errors in working with office software] In Projekt FAUST (Ed. ), Zwischenbericht an der Projekttrager Humanisierung des Arbeitslebens (Vol. 2). Munich: University of Munich.


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