I+D

Interaction Design

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Hard Factors in Interaction Design

Interaction design (sometimes described as ergonomics, human factors, HCI etc.) addresses both the soft factors of interaction and the hard factors - the cognitive and physical aspects of people at work and at play.

The hard factors are concerned with human anthropometric, anatomical, biomechanical and physiological characteristics in the context of physical activity. Topics include equipment design, controls and displays, repetitive movements, musculo-skeletal effects of work, working postures, workplace layout, health and safety, and user comfort and acceptance.

Some examples of our services are described below.

Product Design

Working alongside your design team, or independently, our experts address the user-side of product design. We have experience in physical product development, software, and web site applications. Tools and methods based on industry standards are used to ensure usability, task effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction. Preparatory studies are translated into design guidance to assist product and/or service design, and support is provided throughout realisation, prototyping, piloting, and user testing.

Equipment Selection

The technology arena changes fast and new products claim various benefits. We help to guarantee cost effective investment in equipment items such as laptops, PDA's, tools, and other devices by ensuring they meet appropriate standards and are usable and fully task-supportive in the planned usage context.

Office Workplace

Changing work patterns mean companies explore new approaches to office layout and space usage for cost-effective and efficient working. They may also consider new ways of working, and new patterns of activity. Our design support is aimed to maximise productivity, along with worker satisfaction, safety and comfort.

Accessibility

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) places responsibility on employers to make reasonable adjustments for any staff member with a disability. Our supportive approach addresses all aspects of DDA requirements and is aimed to develop practical advice on what is both cost effective and reasonable, while meeting the needs of staff and employer.

Industrial Workplace

Using accepted standards and methods, our experts work closely with production engineers and industry managers to guarantee that the design of production processes and environments includes appropriate coverage of safety and efficiency while meeting business targets.

Health and Safety

For employers and organisations who do not retrain full time health and safety experts, or for those addressing a special problem issue, we provide independent experts who use accepted standards and methods responding to current legal and regulatory requirements, as well as human needs.

Human-Centred Design

We work with your designers to provide support at key stages in the design process to ensure good human-centred design. Essential steps in human-centred design are added by our team, and operated by them or in concert with your designers.

Typical projects:

  • Design and user testing of locking mechanisms and removable paper path modules for easy maintenance and minimal downtime in high throughput reprographics processes.
  • Design, prototyping and user testing of easy-to-use handset controller for home entertainment terminal.
  • Design and user testing of user controls (handset and desktop units) for videophones and videoconference equipment.
  • Design and user testing of user interface controls for in-flight information and entertainment system.
  • Assessment and review of active office workplace prior to company move. Definition of grouping and layout requirements for increased efficiency in new location. Observational study and reporting on outcomes.
  • Review of accessibility characteristics of office products (operator desk and software), and development of guidelines for accessibility improvements in next-generation updates.

I+D

Interaction Design