Design and Validation of a Method to Characterize Human Interaction Variability
Human interactions are paramount to the user experience, satisfaction, and risk of user errors. For products, anthropometry has traditionally been used in product sizing. However, structured methods that accurately map static and dynamic capabilities (e.g., functional mapping) of musculoskeletal regions for the conceptualization and redesign of product applications and use cases are limited. The present work aims to introduce and validate the effectiveness of the Interaction Variability method,
... which maps product components and musculoskeletal regions to determine explicit design parameters through limiting designer variation in the classification of human interaction factors. This study enrolled 16 engineering students to evaluate two series of interactions for (1) water bottle and (2) sunglasses applications enabling method validity and designer consistency assessments. For each interaction series, subjects identified and characterized product applications, components, and human interaction factors. Primary interactions, product mapping, and application identification achieved consensus between ranges of 31.25% and 100.00%, with significance (p < 0.1) observed at consensus rates of ≥75.00%. Significant levels of consistency were observed amongst designers, for at least one measure in all phases except anthropometric mapping for the sunglasses application indicating method effectiveness. Interaction variability was introduced and validated in this work as a standardized approach to identify, define, and map human and product interactions, which may reduce unintended use cases and user errors, respectively, in consumer populations.