Saturday, November 3, 2012

Designing Hyper-Intuitive User Interactions for Mission & Safety-Critical Domains


Moin Rahman, Principal Scientist, HVHF Sciences, presents the Direct Perception-Action Coupling (DPAC) approach to design hyper-intuitive user-interactions between professional end-users and mission critical products, particularly in high stakes and time compressed situations. The DPAC approach is particularly applicable to inform the design of technology (computers, communication, devices, cockpits, life sustaining devices, etc.) in safety critical domains such as warfighting, firefighting, emergency medicine, aviation, automobiles, among others.


Note: On a related topic, you will also find this post on Designing NexGen Products: Bending the Users' Learning Curve of interest.


Rahman, M., Balakrishnan, G., & Bergin, T. (2011). Designing Human-Machine Interfaces for Naturalistic Perceptions, Decisions and Actions occurring in Emergency Situations. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science. Vol. 13(3), 358-379.
Available online at:

Rahman, M. (2012). Direct Perception-Action Coupling: A Neo-Gibsonian Model for Critical Human-Machine Interactions under Stress.  In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 56th Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Available online at:

"Smart" Embodied Interactions - Examples

Caterpillar M-Series Moto Grader (latest model)  - 
Note: More than 15 levers present in the previous model were replaced with two joy sticks that encapsulate the DPAC approach discussed in the presentation.

NEST Learning Thermostat

Black & Decker Gyro Screw Driver


Moin Rahman
Founder/Principal Scientist
HVHF Sciences, LLC
"Designing systems and solutions for human interactions when stakes are high, moments are fleeting and actions are critical."