HUMAN FACTORS & USER EXPERIENCE

Human Factors and User Experience go together: Human Factors Engineering applies scientific knowledge about human capabilities and limitations to design, whereas User Experience focuses on designing everything the user comes into contact with, even emotionally. Together, these produce products that are useful, usable, desirable and safe.

Below illustrates a healthcare human factors and user experience approach, but in reality our clients engage us when they need us, anywhere during the beginning, middle or end of design and development. We tailor our services to client needs.

Discover.

Discovery identifies problems to be solved by new products or functionality. That is, it is not only focused on how something should be designed, but also on what should be designed to begin with? What do people need?  This requires us to understand and characterize peoples’ goals, jobs, tasks, challenges and hassles. It often also involves understanding competing and predicate products. Below are brief descriptions of some of the activities and methods conducted during discovery.

Contextual Inquiry
Combines observational research and interviews to learn about users, their tasks, environments, and challenges. [more]

Diary Studies
Used to collect information when you cannot be there to observe directly. [more]

Literature Review
Distills information from many sources. [more]

Interviewing
Combines observational research and interviews to learn about users, their tasks, environments, and challenges. [more]

 

Critical Incident Technique
Used to collect information when you cannot be there to observe directly. [more]

Discussion Groups
Distills information from many sources. [more]

Questionnaires
Questionnaires enable us to ask large numbers of people about their attitudes and behaviors.

 

Define.

The Definition phase documents the product’s design criteria, based on user characteristics, their work environments, and their tasks. Design criteria list the goals the product will enable users to achieve, and the manner in which they will achieve them. These criteria are used later to evaluate how well each design proposal meets the design intent.

Task Analysis
Characterizes what users do (actions and cognitive processes) to achieve their goals using a system. [more]

Environmental Profile
The environment of use can greatly impact a user’s interaction with a product. [more]

 

Customer Journey
Illustrates the experiences people have when interacting with a product or service. [more]

User Profile
Lists the most important characteristics of your users, so that they can be accommodated in the device design. [more]

 

Scenarios
A story describing the future use of a product from the user’s point of view. [more]

 

Design.

In the Design phase, we plan and specify exactly how the product or system will work. Critically, the design aims to satisfy the design criteria identified in the Definition phase. The design criteria, of course, are derived from the information learned in the previous Discovery phase.

Participatory Design
Designers and users work together to develop solutions. [more]

Wireframing
A wireframe is a schematic depicting the layout, navigation, and information structure of a user interface. [more]

Instruction for Use
Instructions for use (IFU) are essentially the user manual for a medical product. [more]

 

Information Architecture
Focuses on making information findable and understandable. [more]

Prototyping
Prototypes are models of a product that demonstrate what the product looks like, how it’s organized or how it works. [more]

 

Evaluate.

The Evaluation phase assesses the usefulness, usability, and desirability of the product design. It is usually conducted as part of an iterative process in which the product is assessed and design changes are made over several cycles.

Usability Testing
Representative users perform realistic tasks with a medical device, system, or process. [more]

Heuristic Analysis
Reviewers inspect a user interface against a list of best practices or heuristics (rules of thumb) in user experience. [more]

Cognitive Walkthrough
Evaluate whether an interface is understandable and easy to learn, especially for a first-time or one-time user. [more]

 

Report.

Different projects and different phases require different kinds of reports. Reports also vary according to their audience. We guide our clients through submission requirements to various regulatory bodies such as FDA, EU, MDR and so on. Some types of reports include:

  • Validation and Summative usability testing reports
  • Task/Perception, cognition, action (PCA) analysis
  • Failure mode effects analysis (FMEA)

It’s easy to make things difficult, but it’s difficult to make things easy.

— Alphonse Chapanis

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