Archive for 'Human Factors engineering' Category:

By Ben Zwillinger: Thursday 12th October, 2017

Engineering a better meeting: a human factors perspective to meeting efficacy

Most of us have been in a meeting that has not gone as planned. Topics came up that weren’t on the agenda, the meeting was hijacked by a strong personality, or a variety of other unexpected situations may happen. After a recent experience in a meeting that did not go according to plan, I got […]

bogdan-dada-111692 (1)
By Ben Zwillinger: Friday 31st March, 2017

Unlocking the Value of an Expert Review

In this three-part series, I want to explore the expert review. The expert review is often looked down upon. However, it can be one of the most powerful tools in the human factor engineers (HFE) toolbox. Some companies use the expert review as a foundation for projects while other companies seem to rarely, if ever, utilize […]

Man looking at wall of notes and drawings
By Ben Zwillinger: Tuesday 28th February, 2017

The Number One Quality To Have as a Human Factors Engineer

In a departure from some of my more research based articles (read: long), I wanted to write about something a little more digestible. Human factors engineers (HFEs) often work in industries with highly complex and safety critical systems, most often aerospace, military, and medical. There are many attributes that are certainly helpful in this career, […]

By Ben Zwillinger: Wednesday 25th January, 2017

Are we making instructions too easy to read?

Is it possible to make something too easy? Is there a point where the easier something is to do, the fewer people do it correctly? For many of us, this seems counterintuitive. For those of us working in product development, whose job it is to create simple and intuitive products, it seems even crazier. However […]

By Ben Zwillinger: Monday 19th December, 2016

The Case For Quantifying The User Experience

As human factors engineers (HFEs), an important aspect of our job is being the voice of the user. For those who are HFEs or for anyone who may have worked with us before, what I am about to say next may seem odd and maybe even a little rash — I don’t think we are […]

human brain on black background
By Ben Zwillinger: Monday 26th September, 2016

The Next Generation of Human Factors Research

Advances in neuroscience have changed the way social and behavioral sciences are being studied. Considering the brain is the root of all behavior and decision making, it is only logical that fields focusing on human behavior, in one form or another, study the brain. The explosion of research conducted in harmony with neuroscience can be seen […]

Two sided brain
By Ben Zwillinger: Wednesday 15th June, 2016

How Might Economics Help Human Factors?

After recently watching Dan Ariely’s documentary, (Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies, a film about humans tendency to lie, I was drawn to how some of the research he presents could be used to further the field of human factors (HF). As any HF practitioner will tell you, we work in a multidisciplinary field involving engineering, psychology, design, and ergonomics, to […]

Doctor talking with her patient
By Adrienne Jones: Friday 20th May, 2016

3 Challenges for Technology Adoption in the Senior Care Market

It is no secret that the world’s population is aging. Many articles and presentations on the subject urge us to invent something for the older population and rattle off similar statistics such as by 2050, the population of 65 and older will increase by 150% compared to roughly 0% for the under 20 population and […]

By Ben Zwillinger: Thursday 31st March, 2016

Using Attractive People To Expedite FDA Approval For Medical Devices

As absurd as the title may seem, there is sound, though somewhat nefarious, logic here. During Human Factors testing, we often observe participant behavior and categorize the actions they take as correct, incorrect, or somewhere in the middle. Correct and incorrect are somewhat black and white, but there is a large grey area consisting of […]

By Ben Zwillinger: Wednesday 9th March, 2016

How to Use Human Nature to Your Advantage During User Testing

During Human Factors studies we often ask participants to complete a series of tasks designed to be representative of the normal use process. Many times participants do not act consistently. Perhaps a participant acts one way during the first task, but differently during the following task. Or, a participant answers questions indicating the opposite of […]


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