Friday, September 28, 2007

51st Annual Meeting Of HFES Features Work On Making Systems

Usability featured at this year's HFES meeting ...

"The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's 51st Annual Meeting will be held October 1 -- 5, 2007, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. More than 350 papers will be presented, many of them featuring current research and application on topics of major relevance for the public, legislators, and business leaders. Below are abstracts on just a few of these topics.

... DESIGN FOR THE AGING AND DISABLED

A Survey of Mobile Phone Use in Older Adults
Young Seok Lee, Virginia Tech
Tuesday, October 2, 1:30 -- 3:00 p.m.

More and more older adults are using mobile phones. Lee conducted a survey of older cell phone users and found that most usability problems involve lack of understanding of error messages, problems inputting text, and difficulty understanding user manuals. He concludes that mobile phone manufacturers need to focus on the needs and capabilities of this growing older user population.

Testing a Novel Auditory Interface Display to Enable Visually Impaired Travelers to Use Sonar Mobility Devices Effectively
T. Claire Davies, University of Waterloo, et al.
Thursday, October 4, 8:30 -- 10:00 a.m.

After loss of vision, people have difficulty maintaining their independence and mobility, which ultimately affects their safety. Sonar devices have been developed to address this issue, but they have had limited acceptance, because they lack an easily interpreted interface. Davies and colleagues tested an auditory prototype that offers offer more environmental information than the current single tone design, thus providing the user with enough advance information to avoid obstacles.

PRODUCT/SYSTEM USABILITY

Digital Photo Kiosk Evaluation
Jacob Solomon and Frank A. Drews, University of Utah
Thursday, October 4, 10:30 a.m. -- 12:00 noon

Self-service modules have become an integral part of the economy throughout the world, replacing expensive human operators in many settings. Digital photo kiosks are a particularly conspicuous example of problems that exist in self-service modules. Solomon and Drew redesigned kiosks based on sound usability principles. Their results indicated a reduction of errors, an increase in learnability, and an increase in efficiency.

They suggest that incorporating design principles from personal computer software design can minimize task complexity and increase usability.

An Evaluation of Self-Checkout Systems
Christina Mendat, HumanCentric Technologies; Christopher B. Mayhorn, North Carolina State University
Thursday, October 4, 8:30 -- 10:00 a.m.

Self-checkout systems in stores have increased exponentially in the past 5 years. An online survey found that although these systems are used frequently, they are not always usable. For example, respondents noted problems with barcode scanning, which slow the line. Mendat and Mayhorn highlighted a number of areas in which the application of human factors/ergonomics methods and principles could greatly improve self-checkout systems."    (Continued via Medical News Today)    [Usability Resources]

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