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Companies /Products specalising in aspects of UX July 4, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in About Me.
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http://www.ergolabs.com/clients.htm

This is one of the brilliant software for usability studies. MORAE

Eye Tracking: http://www.tobii.com/archive/pages/17767/What_is_eye_tracking.aspx

Task Analysis:  http://www.taskarchitect.com/case_studies.html

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What is Human Factors Psychology ? July 4, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in About Me.
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The field of human factors/ ergonomics is the scientific discipline that attempts to find the best ways to design products, equipment, and systems so that people are maximally productive, satisfied, and safe. Source

Human factors psychology combines psychology and product design in ways that we don’t usually connect.

Psychologists bring to the design table their knowledge of how people perceive products and themselves, how they process those perceptions, and how people then behave. These psychologists use their knowledge to create the experience that you have when you interact with any product or man-made artifact that you use in daily life. They apply their knowledge of a person’s cognitive processes to the design of a product, from its shape, its function, how it is properly used, its colors, its look, even to its feel. The goal of applying this knowledge is to appeal to our sense of identity, to guide users in how to use particular products, to prevent foreseeable misuse, and to give consumers the best possible experience with the product.
What actually fills the day of a human factors psychologist?

First they research a product in depth, seeking all information about its use, manufacture, and potential users. They then create user profiles, detailing the most likely groups to use a product. They note the size and cognitive trends of that demographic group and what that information may mean for a product’s development. For example, women tend to have a shorter reach and smaller hands than men, and a product intended for a woman to use would need to account for these differences. Another important part of the process is task analysis, whereby the professional analyzes the task, breaking it into smaller pieces. This can help to notice important needs of the user.

After a product is designed in its preliminary stage, then human factors psychologists go out into the real world and do field observations and interviews. Field observations involve watching people use the product or a similar one, noting difficulties in design and environmental influences. Interviews come next, when the professional talks to the people about their experience of using the product. Did they find the camera easy to use? What confused them about its buttons? Other ways of polling potential users might be questionnaires and focus groups. A focus group would entail inviting to a laboratory some potential users of the product and having them use the product. Their opinions and experiences would then be noted and discussed. All through the above tasks, a human factors psychologist is keeping meticulous records of findings.

What does it have todo with IT ?

I worked with one of them to who helped us do Task Analysis, User Profiles and Focus Groups for design of a B2C website. Facinating !!