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Proceedings Paper

Intuitive engineering, human factors, and the design of future interfaces (Invited Paper)
Author(s): James B. Sampson
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Paper Abstract

Human factors engineering (HFE) professionals complain that they are often called in after-the-fact to help correct human interface problems. They believe many design flaws can be avoided if design teams involve them early on. However, in the case of innovative technology, such post hoc human factors may not be avoidable unless the inventor is also a human factors engineer or the prospective user. In rare cases an inventor of a new technology has an intuitive understanding of human engineering principles and knows well the capabilities and limitations of operators. This paper outlines the importance of focusing on the user-system interface and encouraging engineers to develop their own intuitive sense of users through mental imagery. If design engineers start with a clear mental picture of a specific user and task rather than generalities of use, fewer interface problems are likely to be encountered later in development. Successful technology innovators often use a visual thinking approach in the development of new concepts. Examples are presented to illustrate the successful application of intuitive design. An approach is offered on how designers can improve their non-verbal thinking skills. The author shares the view that the mission of HFE should not be to make system developers dependent on the small community of HF experts but rather to help them learn the value of applying user-centered design techniques.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2005
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5801, Cockpit and Future Displays for Defense and Security, (25 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.603109
Show Author Affiliations
James B. Sampson, U.S. Army Soldier Systems Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5801:
Cockpit and Future Displays for Defense and Security
Darrel G. Hopper; Eric W. Forsythe; David C. Morton; Charles E. Bradford; Henry J. Girolamo, Editor(s)

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