Great Human Factors: Can Intuitive Tool Design Override Previous Training?
Watch the chimpanzee vs. human child in a learning experiment.
Here is the video link: http://youtu.be/nHuagL7x5Wc
We are all trained, or learn, by trial and error on how to use equipment or how to use it “properly”. What happens when you get a better “understanding” of how the equipment works? Here are some of the choices that we could make:
1. Ignore the previous training and just get the prize (work done faster, like the chimpanzee)
2. Continue the rules that you learned or were trained to do (at least in front of the bosses like the children).
3. Stop and ask what’s up?
4. Stop using the tool all together and do not tell anyone.
Often the previous training and experience overrides the new operation steps needed … ever been totally frustrated every time someone changes your computer’s Microsoft Windows version? And no, training by itself does not override experience, practice and repetition does!
I had a discussion not too long ago that OSHA forklift training requirements were met when people were retrained after changing forklifts. Unfortunately, the controls worked exactly opposite on the new forklift and the quick review did nothing to override the past knowledge and muscle motor memory.
Just something to think about when you think “Great Human Factors.”