A human factors engineer helps to develop various items and focuses on the needs of the human body. The engineer should have the goal of making the items as efficient and comfortable as possible and making sure that they conform to human structure and ability. The engineer should aim to create and improve items so that they can help humans perform tasks efficiently, while aiming to reduce strain on the body.
It is important to keep up to date with developments in the applicable field. It may also be necessary to keep an eye on the competition in order to determine what is trending on the market and what sorts of products can be developed or improved. Much of the work will have to be done while manipulating 3D models, so it is important to have advanced computer skills. The engineer will also have to carry out various testing techniques involving prototypes, then correct problems and make improvements based on the results. The human factors engineer will also carry out tests to determine the risks relating to the item being developed and how these risks can be reduced.
Some of the work is done independently, though some work has to be done on a team. The human factors engineer may assist a team of design engineers to help them further develop the product in a way that will be ergonomic for human needs. Much of the work is done indoors in an office environment, though some research may have to be done on the respective field. Some positions may require a bachelor’s degree, while others will require a higher degree. The degree should generally be related to a field such as human factors or computer engineering.
Human Factors Engineer Tasks
Collect requirements and user needs for projects to identify human components for design.
Present findings in person, using wireframes, over the web and in reports.
Conduct operability and workload investigations, documenting findings.
Work with potential users to evaluate human-machine problems and improve methods.