Is the awakening over? Has the medical industry finally come to embrace the benefits of human factors engineering…?
In a word, the answer is “yes.” In more than a word, the answer is “not entirely.” In an article in INNOVATION’s summer 2014 issue, Michael Wiklund (of Wiklund Research & Design) and Stephen Wilcox, FIDSA, argue that human factors is a tool not only for evaluating a product’s safety, but also for enhancing its commercial appeal.
The article appears in the quarterly publication of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Focusing on “medical evolution,” INNOVATION’s summer 2014 issue handles content ranging from current regulations to predictions of future trends.
Stephen and Michael suggest that companies still largely consider human factors to be beneficial only when evaluating whether or not a product is safe for use. The authors explain, though, that ethnographic and formative usability research can also greatly enhance a product’s appeal to users who increasingly have choices to make as consumers.
If you must do a rigorous job of human factors engineering to satisfy safety and regulatory requirements anyway, why not also apply human factors engineering in a manner that will lead to products that people love?
You can find the full content of the article in our Publications.