The University of Idaho Human Factors program focuses on improving the ways in which people interact with their environment — ranging from designing more human-friendly technology and safer workplace environments to innovative display technologies in modern aircraft cockpits or large industrial control rooms. In addition to their applied work, most of the faculty are also working on basic problems in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
Design of Visual Displays
One of our emphases is the design of visual displays to quickly and efficiently convey important information – be it in the forms of alarms, navigational displays, dynamic maps or innovative peripheral displays which use the periphery of the visual field to allow for additional information to be processed while the center of the visual field is left uncluttered. Display technology developed at the University of Idaho has implications for the design of heads-up cockpit displays in aviation, navigational aides in modern cars or for decision support tools in process control.
Through a unique developmental life-span perspective faculty at the University of Idaho are trying to understand the risks children face in normal traffic situations and how to improve children’s safety as traffic participants. In addition, many other safety issues, like the use of audible cues in identifying approaching traffic, warning labels or alarm systems are being investigated. Through the use of neurophysiological methods, University of Idaho faculty are also trying to identify levels of human workload and stress. Research in this area might lead to the earlier detection and mitigation of human error.
Faculty at the University of Idaho are working on creative, new ways to enhance computer security through graphical authentication systems, improving user experiences through different types of feedback strategies and the creation of new display types.