»We make innovative technologies easy and safe for people to use in their immediate environment.«

HF | Human Factors

Flexibility, mobility and the associated secure access to information from any place at any time are of critical importance today. Stakeholders, especially in safety-critical areas, depend on up-to-date and reliable information. It is the only way to ensure that important and far-reaching decisions are made without errors and culminate in appropriate action in time-sensitive and stressful situations.

To this end, the Human Factors (HF) department researches and develops innovative solutions and technologies. The focus is on users, their characteristics and capabilities. State-of-the-art information technology such as smart mobile devices and wearables, which permeate nearly every aspect of life through digitalization, and scientific methods (stress measurement, usability, etc.) are opening up new possibilities in this regard. The task is to adapt them for the respective application.

Involving human subjects at an early stage is crucial to the quality of processes and products. The aim is to make this possible early on by developing, applying and evaluating innovative methods and procedures that account for human behavior. Our work is human-centric.

Ergonomics of mobile computers & smart devices

The mobile use of IT devices is steadily increasing and often stands in competition with parallel activities. The Human Factors (HF) department investigates the influence of various factors of mobile interaction (walking, distraction, task switching, etc.) on working with mobile devices such as smartphones, HMDs, and wearables. The team of experts identifies, integrates and evaluates solutions for human-oriented design with a special focus on security-critical environments.

 

Analysis & modeling of human behavior

When conceptualizing and designing new technologies and processes, the human factor must be considered at an early stage. Modeling and simulating humans for various design aspects makes this possible. The HF department researches both digital human models (with regard to body measurements and movement behavior) and models of human actions and processes in operational teams (with regard to reliability and performance). 

The work of the Human Factors (HF) department is based on a comprehensive view of the human-machine system. For this purpose, the department has at its disposal a broad inventory of methods for empirical investigation, modeling and simulation of mental and physical parameters and performance values. These range from field observations, expert interviews, task and system analyses, psychophysical methods for determining perception thresholds and anthropometric/biomechanical methods of data collection to human performance and the interferential statistical evaluation of these methods. The team of experts also has extensive experience in conducting laboratory experiments, field experiments and usability tests.

Laboratories for virtual simulation and augmented reality provide support to extensive evaluations, validations and studies on training and embedded training. Based on the results of this work, the department derives practical system design requirements and examines these with the aid of experimental models. The transfer into innovative experimental models is achieved using current mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, wearables, etc.) and corresponding programming paradigms.

Human performance is directly dependent on attention, stress, and situational awareness. These concepts are an important subject of the group’s work and are also examined in depth in its own macrocognitive studies on decision making, human error and security management.

 

Official bodies

  • National:
    DIN NAErg, VDI RA 3633.6 , VDI RA 4499.5
  • International:
    IEA TC HSVE, IEA STP, NATO STO, EDA