Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Human Factors as the source of innovation

Because of my job as Director of FIU's Institute for Technology Innovation, I interact with a lot of garage innovators - people who have an idea for a new product that they know will be successful on the market. They just need some help getting it there.

Many of them really do. Some of them are fooling themselves, or just don't understand simple things like distribution and manufacturing constraints. But it is invigorating just listening to them and even more so when I can help.

But an underlying dimension to all of their success is the human factor. Whether they know it or now, the success of their product hinges on good human factors. If they have truly understood the user requirements, task flow, and contextual use cases, the chance of their success grows exponentially. Or, they can engage ITI in a project to look into these issues and help guide the development of their idea.

It makes me very satisfied to have gone into this field (2o years ago for anyone who is counting).