Human Factors Research and Usability Testing

Usability is the degree that a tool or technology is operated by people effectively, efficiently and results in satisfaction. For example, a well-designed mobile phone calendar can help you schedule meetings efficiently and politely remind you before important deadlines. This tool can remember complex information like dates, times and locations far better than the average human brain, therefore freeing up at mental energy for other tasks such as problem solving, empathy and creativity – activities technologies don’t do nearly as well as humans.

Researchers can evaluate ease of use, learnability, and experience surrounding new technologies and research applications. Usability evaluation tools help us understand human capabilities and limitations with regards to information technologies, and can provide important insight that can inform the design of electronic health records systems.