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User-Centered Generation of New Product Concepts: A Case Study of Human Factors and Industrial Design Collaboration
This paper describes a non-traditional user-centered approach for developing the first concepts for a consumer product having a new technology not yet seen in the marketplace at the time of the study. The method facilitates significant user contributions to the generation of compelling concepts by engaging them in both graphically and physically visualizing and communicating their perceptions. A Human Factors Engineer and an Industrial Designer collaborated to apply the method for the purpose of ultimately developing usability and appearance models for the new product. Interviewing and real-time sketching were used to translate users’ ideas to graphical form. In addition, the children’s game, Mr. Potato Head, was adapted to allow users to physically build concepts. Twelve participants were engaged in the study and the result was a diverse set of candidate concepts for the product. Although the study met our objectives, learnings are discussed that could enhance future deployment of the method.
For further details, see "User-Centered Generation of New Product Concepts: A Case Study of Human Factors and Industrial Design Collaboration”, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 53rd Annual Meeting, October, 2009. Click here to view the entire article in PDF format.
Challenging Your Current Thinking About Usability a message to product developers. Click here to view the entire article in PDF format.
Use Error Hazards from a Popular Emergency Department Information System
- December 2007. Health IT systems are
not subject to FDA requirements for interface design standards. ED Information
Systems (EDIS) provide support for all aspects of patient care in the emergency
department. Results are presented from a usability/heuristic evaluation which
reveals hazards in a popular commercially-available EDIS system.
Understanding the User - The right research can steer appliance designers away from traps. - Caplan, Stanley, "Understand the User," Appliance Design, September 2007, Page 46.
Think Total User Experience - For companies to be truly successful in the long run, they must address the big picture. This article is in Adobe Acrobat format, which requires the Acrobat Reader on your computer. A new window will open.
March 2002 IEEE Swearless Interfaces
Presentation - view the entire presentation.
Usability at 30,000 Feet - a personal experience of observing first-hand how Human Factors can make a difference.
The Human Side of Product Testing - Systems thinking for reducing the chance of product failure in the marketplace.
Usability Associates teams with Innovation-TRIZ - to bring clients an innovative methodology for solving those difficult Human Factors design problems.
Ergonomic Guidelines for Designing Machines - A few design principles keep machines safe and easy to use.
The following articles are in PDF format, which requires a PDF Reader on your computer. If you do not have the Reader, click here to down load a current version from Adobe.
Abts, N., Hernandez, A., Caplan, S., Perry, V., Hettinger, A.Z., Larsen, E., & Lewis, V. "When Human Factors and Design Unite: Using Visual Language and Usability Testing to Improve Instructions for a Home-use Medication Infusion Pump" (poster). MedStar Health Research Institute Symposium, Columbia, MD: March 10, 2014.
Caplan, Stanley, "User-Centered Generation of New Product Concepts: A Case Study of Human Factors and Industrial Design Collaboration”, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 53rd Annual Meeting, October, 2009
Karn, K. & Caplan, S., "Harry L. Davis, industry pioneer in human factors and ergonomics", Ergonomia: An International Journal of Ergonomics and Human Factors; vol. 30, no. 3, 176-180, 2008
Guarrera TK, Fairbanks RJ, Karn KS, Caplan SH, Shah MN, Wears RL, "Usability Evaluation of an Emergency Department Information System Reveals Hazards" (Abstract). Academic Emergency Medicine, in press.
Fairbanks RJ, Caplan SH, Bishop PA, Marks AM, Shah MN. "Usability Study of Two Common Defibrillators Reveals Hazards". Annals of Emergency Medicine Oct 2007; 50(4): 424-432.
Caplan, Stanley, "Understand the User," Appliance Design, September 2007, Page 46.
Karn, K. & Caplan, S., "Harry L. Davis, Human Factors & Ergonomics Pioneer". In: 2nd Edition of the International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors. W. Karwowski, (ed.). CRC Press, March 2006
Fairbanks RJ, Caplan S, Shah MN, Marks A, Bishop P. "A Usability Study of Two Common EMS Defibrillators" (Abstract). Prehospital Emergency Care, Jan/Feb 2006 (accepted).
Fairbanks RJ, Caplan S, Panzer RJ. "Integrating Usability Into Development Of A Clinical Decision Support System", Proceedings of HCI-International 2005, July 2005
Caplan, Stanley, "Testing the Ergonomics," Machine Design, December 9, 2004, Page 108
Fairbanks RJ and Caplan S, "Poor Interface Design and Lack of Usability Testing Facilitate Medical Error," Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety, Vol. 30, No. 10, October, 2004.
Fairbanks RJ, Caplan S, Shah MN, Marks A, Bishop P, "Defibrillator Usability Study Among Paramedics," Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 48th Annual Meeting Santa Monica CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2004.
Caplan, Stanley, "Ergonomic Guidelines for Designing Machines," Machine Design, May 6, 2004, Page 53
Caplan, Stanley H., "A Case of Human Factors Voyeurism," Ergonomics in Design, Vol. 7, No. 3, July, 1999
Caplan, Stanley H., "Making Usability a Kodak Product Differentiator," in Usability in Practice: How Companies Develop User-Friendly Products, edited by Michael Wiklund, Academic Press, Boston, MA, 1994.
Caplan, Stanley H., Suzanne Rodgers and Harry Rosenfeld, "A Novel Approach to Clarifying Organizational Roles," Proceedings of the Human Factors Society, - 35th Annual Meeting, September, 1991.
Caplan, Stanley H., "Using Focus Group Methodology for Ergonomic Design," Ergonomics, Vol. 33, No. 5, May, 1990.
Eastman Kodak Company, Health, Safety and Human Factors Lab, Human Factors Section, Ergonomic Design for People at Work, Vol. 1, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY, 1983. Contributing author to chapters on equipment design and information transfer.
Caplan, Stanley H., "Designing Cameras for Improved Holdability," Proceedings of the Human Factors Society - 26th Annual Meeting, October, 1982.
Caplan, Stanley H. and Terrence W. Faulkner, "Camera Configuration and User Preference," Proceedings of the Third National Symposium on Human Factors and Industrial Design in Consumer Products, August, 1982.
Caplan, Stanley H., "Applying Human Factors in Design," Machine Design, Vol. 53, No. 8, April 9, 1981.
Faulkner, Terrence W. and Stanley H. Caplan, "Experimental Evaluation of Kodak Ektaprint Copier-Duplicator Instructions," Proceedings of the Human Factors Society - 21st Annual Meeting, October 1977.
Caplan, Stanley H., "Guidelines for Reducing Human Errors in the Use of Coded Information," Proceedings of the Human Factors Society - 19th Annual Meeting, October, 1975. Reprinted in Standards Engineering, Vol. 28, No. 2, April, 1976.
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