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Human Factors in Product Design

News

July 21, 2009


Cognitive functions, such as attention, memory, information processing, appreciation and understanding of hazards, and problem solving, as well as developmental changes that occur during the aging process, can also influence the safety, effectiveness, and ease of product use. The environment in which a product is used also may have an impact on people’s ability to interact with products and equipment, or to follow procedures. The legibility and clarity of displayed symbols, detection and distinctiveness of alarms, strength required to use the product, and requirements for reaching or operating controls may be shaped by the space in which users function.


Exponent scientists and engineers have studied human abilities and limitations. We have gained an understanding of the impact of environmental conditions on human behavior. Population data on the physical dimensions of males and females exist that we apply to issues of product design. We test the usability of products with human subjects to better understand user/product interactions. We examine records of injury events associated with the use of products to determine whether their designs contribute to any unique accident pattern or pose a risk of injury.

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