My first government client. Near the end of 2016, I began to work on technological proposals for the American Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). Our goal was to stand apart from the rest. Together with a very talented team comprised of business and systems analysts, among others, we managed to create creative and intelligent processes, portraying them in a simple and clear way. In less than one year, we secured three contracts at the national level. Simply put, our proposals were very powerful at the technical and graphic level, thanks to our exceptional team.
My role in Aviation: Human Factors in Avionics Design
Once we secure the contract, I work intermittently on the different projects between DC and OKC. I am responsible for the UX team. Our goal is to have a complete understanding of the users (pilots, future pilots, air controllers…), what they need, what they value, and also their limitations.
Our objective is to study Human factors. Human factors engineering applies our understanding of the abilities and limitations of the human mind to the design of aircraft cockpits by studying the interaction of the pilot’s mind with proposed avionics systems rather than focusing on avionics alone.
Human factors engineering teaches that human machine interfaces (HMI) should be as intuitive, natural, simple, and direct as possible. Also, human factors considerations are becoming more and more central to the overall design process.
Basic tenets of human factors, from an avionics perspective, include being intuitive in order to simplify tasks and reduce pilot workload.
Working for the FAA is a daily challenge, as one is responsible for the safety of many people. Each “click” becomes a “WHY?” in capital letters. The choice of color can be vital at the time of aircraft landing depending on whether it is day or night. Another consideration is how a pilot may enter data if he or she is without internet access and needs to communicate with the ground controller.
What I learned….
For many years, I worked developing user experiences which accounted for concrete actions without necessarily having to take into account aspects as specific and limiting as those of the FAA. Partnering with them has taught me how to work within a number of limits, many of which were unknown to me at the development and design level. However, at the same time, the solutions that emerged were even more creative and intelligent. Even I was surprised!
Design and prototyping examples
Regarding this work, there is little that I can show you here. For reasons of national security, no one is able to publish any content or design related to the projects that we developed.
If you are interested in discussing these projects or perhaps viewing some designs from my computer, I would love to talk with you. Please reach me here any time 🙂