Product Design & Safety

Test subject wearing a virtual reality headset. Exponent researchers analyze human behaviors.

Develop safer products based on human capabilities and limitations

Exponent scientists and engineers apply a wide range of human factors and risk analyses to help manufacturers improve designs for products intended for a range of contexts — including home, work, recreation, healthcare, and transportation.

How do you effectively detect safety challenges during product design?

Consumer products and services can be made more likely to be used safely, effectively, and with more satisfaction when the design considers needs, capabilities, and limitations of intended users, as well as a user mental model that captures typical user thought processes.

Exponent understands that knowledge, skills, and abilities vary — from vision and hearing, to manual dexterity, strength, and reach — and can lead people to use products differently. Likewise, human cognitive functions — including attention, memory, information processing, appreciation and understanding of hazards, and problem solving — can affect how a user engages with a product. The environment in which a product or service is used — the context of use — may also have an impact on interactions with products.

Exponent's multidisciplinary scientists and engineers routinely test the usability of products with human participants, who are representative of the intended users, to better understand user-product interactions and hazards in addition to complying with regulations, such as the FDA's 510(k) or PMA submission requirements. As part of these types of analyses, our team searches for and evaluates existing records of product-use-related injuries to help determine whether product designs present unique accident patterns.

Safety issues can typically be detected during early product design phases, and Exponent often performs risk analyses during those early phases to help manufacturers make informed decisions during product development.

Capabilities and Services

Applying human behavioral data in risk analyses can be powerful for improving safety in product design, making appropriate recall decisions, and developing design refinements to address customer complaints or safety issues.

Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled

With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.