Human Factors

Human Factors & Ergonomics

Considerations in Product Design and Testing

The beginning of product design for human use begins with an understanding of the fundamental building block of human factors and ergonomic engineering.

The image at the top right of this page is the traditional Man-Machine-Environment System illustration.

Since the time of this model, human factors and product design engineering have become considerably more sophisticated. Once any product is designed, product useability testing examines a product’s response to normal use and foreseeable abuse.

Miller Engineering applies scientific principles from a variety of disciplines to design tests which evaluate both the structural performance and the safety and usability of consumer and industrial products in the field.

We have tested a broad array of consumer and industrial products to varying degrees of sophistication. We address basic and applied design problems through practical tests and quick evaluations. Where necessary, we apply more sophisticated testing methods for complex design problems and failure analysis.

Our tests seek to identify:

  • User expectations
  • Normal use and foreseeable abuse
  • Likely failures and their effects
  • Compliance with warnings and instructions
  • Behavior and cognitive task analysis
  • User population characteristics
  • Accident statistics

We have computer based data acquisition equipment which facilitates our deriving empirical data to answer difficult design questions. This portable system has been used for machine evaluations, recreational boating tests conducted on-water, and other functions. Where appropriate, testing is performed at our facilities or in one of several excellent laboratories in the area. We rigorously analyze test data and prepare an engineering report documenting the procedure and findings. Custom test techniques and procedures are developed and implemented as needed.

Results from such testing provide data for making design decisions. Our independent point of view is an asset in critically evaluating and testing products. Critical product evaluation can greatly improve product performance, product safety, ease of use, marketing appeal, and product quality.