The Future of Function Allocation


Hancock, P.A., & Scallen, S.F. (1996). The future of function allocation. Ergonomics in Design, 4(4), 24-29.

     In the inaugural issue of Ergonomics in Design, Robert Fuld provided severe criticism of functional allocation as a practical design process (Fuld, 1993). His thesis, backed by his own experiences, was that formal function allocation was a problematic and frustrating way to pursue practical design. Yet such function allocation was still being championed in many of the major textbooks in human factors/ergonomics.
     We were not surprised by his criticisms, but we were concerned by that absence of response.  If silence connotes acceptance, it appears that the human factors community is in agreement with Fuld over the failure of function allocation.

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