Close up of a woman in a pink sweater reaching her arms through a protective laboratory enclosure to reach for a stack of clear disks taped together with blue painters tape, approximating the size, shape, and weight of a product design still in prototype.

Human Factors & Usability

When thinking about human factors, people often recall catastrophic incidents of human error, such as the nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, or the 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig disaster. Yet, human factors encompass a wide range of interactions with tools, from simple actions like hitting the snooze button in the morning to complex tasks like using a surgical tool in an operating room.

Use errors stemming from poor consideration of human factors can be mere nuisances that lead users to find workarounds or may be enough to drive users to your competitors. But in critical situations, like healthcare and safety, use errors can create life-threatening risks. Regulatory agencies, recognizing this, have started emphasizing the consideration of human factors in certification processes, as seen in the FDA's adoption of ANSI/AAMI/IEC 62366-1:2015 Medical devices – Part 1: Application of usability engineering to medical devices.

At Daedalus, we consider both the physical (ergonomics) and cognitive (human information processing) aspects of human factors. Our goal is to create interfaces that enhance efficiency and minimize the likelihood of errors. Leveraging experience, research, and expertise, we identify opportunities and develop innovative solutions.

To address ergonomic issues, we utilize a comprehensive library of anthropometric data. For other challenges, we conduct research and testing and provide recommendations. Our in-house facilities enable the construction of specialized research environments equipped with multi-camera digital video and audio recording capabilities. This allows us to scrutinize activities from various perspectives and in slow motion, uncovering problems that might otherwise go unnoticed and allowing us to understand the underlying causes. Our team includes designers, human-machine interface specialists, and a cognitive psychologist.