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Knowledge Transfer

Ann Blandford KT photo

I work with both commercial and public organisations to better understand how technology is used, and how it can be designed and deployed to improve use. There are various ways of working with business and the public sector. The following are illustrative examples.In the ongoing CHI+MED programme, we are working with manufacturers of interactive medical devices to understand their needs and practices, with a view to providing tools that support them in designing more usable (safer) systems. We are also working with policy organisations such as the National Patient Safety Agency to improve safety through usability, and with various NHS Trusts looking at procurement, deployment and training issues.

With Lexis Nexis UK, I completed a series of consultancy projects, supported by Simon Attfield and Stephann Makri. We worked with them (using an "apprenticeship" model) to gather rich user data from their customers, jointly analysing that data to develop use cases and personas that have been used in subsequent development work within the company. We delivered training workshops on how journalists and lawyers work with information (particularly their products), and on how to evaluate their products from a Human Factors perspective. This work had three important outcomes:

  1. A set of use cases and personas that have been used in subsequent development work.
  2. Enhanced skills of the Human Factors team and their colleagues, expanding their repertoire of techniques for designing and evaluating their systems.
  3. Improved dialogue with key customers about their practices and requirements.

In an earlier research project studying the work of Emergency Medical Dispatchers at London Ambulance Service, we highlighted some "quick fixes" that would make their systems more efficient, as well as longer term design possibilities. For example, we identified key information that should be displayed on the "overview" screen; this design change substantially reduced the number of times staff had to flick between screens to get the information they needed, and was greatly welcomed by staff in the control room.

I have also worked with law firms, newspapers, e-commerce organisations, London Underground, BT, NATS, and the British Library. These have included organisations hosting MSc projects, organising workshops, working jointly on research projects, and providing consultancy services.

Page last modified on 13 may 13 10:16 by Rowanne Fleck