We are able to construct prototypes of Human Machine Interfaces and working environments using low-fidelity materials. We can also write specifications.
Prototyping will help you answer the following questions:
Specifications will remove the ambiguity from a design. They can help you communicate the essential information that will ensure an operable and safe design.
The aim of a Human Factors Engineering prototype is to:
The aim is to focus on functionality and behaviour rather than aesthetics.
We can create Human Factors Engineering prototypes by hand as a sketch, or we can create them using commercial software applications such as Axure.
Good HMIs are visually apparent and forgiving, enabling users to feel empowered by the technology rather than a slave to it.
Equipment HMIs that are usable tend to be those that enable to the operator to learn and reinforce mental models that are appropriate, accurate, and can be used to infer and predict system states and future behaviours.
A specification is the ‘blueprint’ for how the user will interact with the product or service. Specifications build on requirements analysis and user research. A specification is often produced by following a guideline.
These documents collect and interpret key the Human Factors requirements and principles associated with a product or service, and communicate this information in a clear and unambiguous way. The purpose of these internal guidance documents is to ensure that product developers understand the critical Human Factors Engineering aspects, but still have some degree of freedom in how the guidelines are addressed.
We tend to use collaborative methods to define and develop the scope and content of these documents. We have found that stakeholder involvement in defining the purpose of these documents is crucial.