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Human Factors Engineer
Human actors, also referred to as ergonomics, human engineering or usability research, is the scientific discipline that applies theory, principles, data and method to design in order to optimise how humans behave physically and psychologically in relation to particular environments, products, or services.
A Human Factors Engineer is involved in ensuring that human factors considerations are applied to the design process in a hands on role. As Human Factors engineers, they will be directly involved in the design applications of human factors considerations rather than reporting to a team of engineers that will translate this message. The human factors engineer eradicates the possibility of miscommunication between human factors consultants and design engineers. They will directly implement the suggestions made on the back of usability research findings and ethnography studies into the design. This is usually in conjunction with engineers from other disciplines, but their specialisms in both engineering capabilities and human factors concerns mean that Human Factors engineers can directly translate into the design rather than being passed by a third party who may not necessarily have an engineering background or understand the constraints there and what is and isn’t possible. Human factors engineers can correctly translate what is needed from a human factors concern into what is practically achievable from an engineering function given the materials, budget and time scales involved.
The human factors engineer cuts out the middle man and allows human factors concerns to be directly translated into the design at a hands-on level.