The Practice of Human Factors Testing and Evaluation
It can be argued that human factors testing and evaluation is among the most applied endeavors of an avowedly applied discipline. Testing and evaluation occur near the end of a long chain of laboratory research, product design, and development. The practitioners of human factors testing and evaluation often share a common background with their research counterparts in academia and may even use similar terminology and techniques, yet many of these practitioners can feel somewhat isolated from academics. At a glance, academic research and human factors testing and evaluation would appear to have much in common. The differences between the two domains only become apparent when we survey their work environments, goals, practices, and products. It is the intent of the following brief discussion to explore the practice of human factors testing and its differences with the more familiar practice of human factors research in academia.