Today is March 18th, 2021 and it's an all new Hum…
Today is March 18th, 2021 and it's an all new Human Factors Cast hosted by Nick Roome and Blake Arnsdorff.
Smart cities: Tech is great, but don’t forget the people
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Your weekly podcast things. Hey everyone it's what is today. The self 3 318. Start over. Yeah wow 3/18/2021 in this is human factors castable sold 100 98 can you believe it I'm your host Nick Rome I'm joined today by Blake are in store how are you Nick and always everybody else on the internet if you're hanging out with us on Twitter YouTube or periscope that right yeah we're on we're on a couple platforms yeah where yeah I guess we can jump into the programming notes were everywhere if if you're hanging out with us tonight it's been a good time we're we're on twitch and periscope and YouTube and soon to be linked in to work what slowly rolling it out I'm yeah we we got a great news story tonight we're gonna be talking about smart cities again from this article from the next web. And I you know I keep I keep mentioning this we've been posting cryptic teases across our social media about this. You know April 1 St it's not a joke you know that's that's our episode 200 we got some some fun little things in store for you all both listeners watchers everybody really and and our patrons actually this today just got a little sneak peek at something so that was. That was a fun little reveal for them I'm. But that but aside from that you know we'd we'd love to have you on one of our live platforms because it it definitely keeps the spirit of the show go in here but Blake I got to know what's going on with what's going on with your part of the world I see groups. Yeah. Yes it's just a little peek behind the curtain of light is Nick likes to say I was gonna say is Blake likes to say that's not a good thing. So we we got everything ready this time for the show hit record and I realize as we started I don't have my banter put here but luckily I have in my head so it looks a little funny oops here. So it I I don't know how to phrase this some just gonna let it kind of ramble outage everybody who has been here before is used to. This is so there are times Nick where I think I questioned by profession okay how did I end up in this league but my really doing how did I get here yeah how did this happen. 8. A potential yeah we helmet to closely right. But so there's often like moments of clarity that I I have when I find myself in that slump that kind of just remind me of what it is I'm doing and maybe that maybe some of my mission in life and all that kind of good stuff I don't wanna be too sappy about it but it does I had like a a couple of weeks of this so just really kind of going through the motions feel like I don't really know where my career is heading that kind of stuff and I have been for some people to do no I do you on the side do a little bit of user experience education style stuff with a company called design lab so I do mentoring other various courses and one of my former research students who I only worked with for like a month sheer recently reached out and I remember talking to this person and very very hyper intelligent and it is one of these times it's happened to me a lot recently where I meet somebody and it's like you should be doing it yet you should be doing this human factor style research work or you should be a user experience designer or whatever it may be and they they're finding it later in life and it was one of these times where I personally did not know without my background in human factors how I would kick in the door of user experience research jobs are human factors jobs and so one thing I had suggested was to either look into short courses that are focused on the research side of user experience or human factors stuff and long story short months later like I maybe a year later now she's reached out to me and she just got into a really perceived as human factors program it was one of those times where it's like nobody owed me any thanks for it but it was really cool to see how the influence of just a short period of time working with someone kind of set them on a different help send them on a different trajectory and the other incidents happen to be black last night as well I've been working with ups offer developers also transitioning into user experience design. And we got to talking and he was like Hey man I know I know the U. on the twitch streams that you do for your podcast you have talked really doing development what is that look like like doing the front side of development so somebody that's focused on the back and it is now also brandishing into design and ultimately taking his coat skills to the front end so it was just fun to see and retrospect how although sometimes are I really don't feel like you that either I know what I'm doing or if I am sure that I'm on the right kind of career path it's good to have those come like check ins to remind you like why you're doing what you're doing and kind of wire proceeding down a path because my kind of like battle of figuring out my career has alternately you gave me a lot of skills that I love sharing with other people to kind of help them do what they want with their career so it's been a it's been a good week is probably when I was all all I was trying to say there but none the less how's everything going for your neck man I I'm glad you had a good week and I'm glad you get that that positive reinforcement about your career and. You know kind of making sure that it's worth it right I've definitely had those those those that what one of those like invasive thoughts well anyway I I get it so thank you for sharing that I'm sure I got I had a good week to up but it didn't start out that way so. I'm like do you do you have your covert vaccine yet I do not are you eligible or any of that stuff D. far as I know I am not at the moment do you know anybody who's got your the vaccine yeah at least got hers because she's like a state educator so she got her first round earlier last week I guess was it wasn't easy for her to sign up. So yes and no so finding the appointment was kind of a by chance thing because although she was qualified to get it actually like getting the appoint was hard but the process when she had it was really easy so she had kind of both experiences that was my experience as well so I got the letter over the weekend that you know Hey you'll be you'll you'll be eligible on the fifteenth. I'm. And I was like great this is great and so I woke up the morning of the fifteenth and look for an appointment no dice you know been checking throughout the week no dice and I just gotta say man from like a user experience human factors perspective this is a mess it's a mess now because there's like here in San Diego county there's like the California website then there's the San Diego website and then there's also the websites that you know you get through your health care provider and so it's like it's this this come it's like which website do you use how do you schedule an appointment there's so much stuff going on to where I was getting very frustrated to the point where I was like. I'll just wait I'll just wait I'll just like a couple weeks before I get it because it's just it's so frustrating and I couldn't get it to like I couldn't find the information that I wanted to like even. I just wanted to schedule it out like you know 3 weeks from now or whatever. And it it wouldn't even let me do that so it's like it was frustrating from my perspective and and so on a whim today I am like you know just went to my health care provider it was like it had been like what 10 A. M. or something I went to it I was like okay you know I tried this earlier this morning it but maybe something opened up the dead. And it was for 1230 and it was like 9 foot 10 at the time so like well see like booked it for to be got an appointment today yeah so like a tie yeah it was crazy prices schedules will be 3 weeks out to get something out there in a way I think yeah you got right there. So yeah I mean I had the same experiences at least it right so it was it was very much like and I ended up getting it through my health care provider which you know for anyone who doesn't have health care something here in the states that's a good chunk of people the whole thing it's it's completely crazy to think about that right so like to tell you some of those other systems that are really difficult to use I get out like I was getting very frustrated. Yeah I end up. Yeah because I was like I anyway I'm so so yeah I signed up and once I signed up everything was fine you walk in they got a process down you walk in you go online you wait for the person in front of you to get theirs and then you go and answer a couple questions to get the shot you leave the room they watching for 15 minutes to make sure you don't pass out for and while they do that they're like Hey just open up your app and schedule your next appointment and I had no problems doing that because they already have you in the system is saying that your first appointment done and so you know I got my next appointment schedule already and it's good to go and you know it's. It's just crazy to think about the logistics of this thing we had Frank on a couple weeks ago and we were talking about the logistics of covert vaccine distribution. If anyone wants to go listen to that I think it was episode 100 96 I want to say 190 knows way long ago was this the 190 so if you wanna go back and listen to that discussion with Frank. That was that many episodes ago yeah sure I thought that was last week good L. all right where does time go yeah it was it was a it was. It was a process man and it just frustrated me so much because like if you think about. I'm just the way resources are allocated in a situation like this if this is not affirmation that there's a role for human factors in basically every walk of life here it is because we're in the midst of a global pandemic and there's logistics that need to be figured out and there are people that want to use their skills to help figure this process out. You know and like I was thinking about this too there's like a couple different websites that you can use that. Kind of consolidate information but none of them have all the information and. It's very localized and they're and they even filter the information based on your location like I didn't mind driving an hour and I I actually did I drove up to you know north county which during traffic is an hour for us and so yeah I drove up there and I was like I I'm I'm okay with doing that just because I you know I I thankfully I have a a workplace that allows me to kind of on the fly say Hey I got it I just got it signed up for the covert vaccine gotta go I'll be back home. Yes that's awesome just the whole process is crazy man like I just it makes me mad now that you know other people have to deal with the **** because it's just so frustrating yeah I was just reading the only saving grace there is like the the fact that once you're in the system that the follow up appointment is super easy to schedule a could you scheduled on the spot right yeah I scheduled it literally in the waiting room as I was waiting to pass out on the floor but I didn't vaccine is totally okay with anyone on the fence please take it. I can't imagine anyone who listens to the show on the fence but. Yeah I I remember the whole process is just way more frustrating than it needed to be yeah and it's it's like that from anybody I've heard this kind of gone through at the moment and the funny part wait it's not funny but it's ironic to be that the same situation as happened across 4 different people that I've talked to were they they get notification some way or another they can get the vaccine they try to schedule it at a reasonable time frame like try to be courteous and they can't do it made all the way home go look for it okay let's go do it now yeah it just works out that way I don't understand how that can be how that even really is happening but right yeah this is a logistical nightmare nightmare from the distribution side from the you know actually getting it the people side and like it's a I don't know there's a lot of hopefully a lot of lessons learned from the whole thing but you never really know but definitely a giant role for human factors people assistant engineering people lots of just interesting problems yeah it kind of brings me back to her conversation with. With the. About about the post code red 19 response. Just about like how how you know supermarkets and everything have to adapt to the new processes and procedures I'm not going. And they did it like they pay dividends they did and it's like well why can't we we had all this time we have all this time before the vaccine was ready how come the systems weren't ready. Why the vaccine in this amount of time but we can't figure out the logistics what yeah what the hell is frustrated and it's so wild because I mean there I don't know there's plenty of logistics people that had already been hired to distribute the stuff even if it's coming from you know separate for writers or whatever so the the fact that that was a really put into play into like okay let's go and get this thing out and see how it goes we'll be fine but yeah I think there I think there's a lot of I'm not trying to like save it save any grace is here for the stop I think there's a lot of just infrastructural problems that already your pre existing that just make it even worse because the fact that like for the smallest part of this the you had to go visit basically 3 different websites and kind of figure out on your own that's kind of nonsense you should have to do all that well. I was understating it when I said 3 website is more like 5 or 6 or 7 maybe even desperate have sites that were like oh here's the here's the vons and Albertsons one and here's the rounds one and here's the rite aid one in it you know and none of them have availability and you know it's just it's a mess it's a mess it's a mess yeah it's it's crazy but I'm glad that it it's worked out and everything else appears to be pretty smooth right yes I well hopefully you know when they say that everyone who wants one should be able to get one by may so hopefully that's the case and hopefully not everyone has the same experience I had I think we're kind of at the end of this getting towards the end of it so hopefully you know it'll just be a fleeting memory and a couple weeks from now all right now well why don't we go ahead and get into this next part of the show. That's right a few factors news this is the part all about human factors news where we talk about everything related to the field of human factors to be anything for medical privacy security robotics we got a little bit of everything in there this week because Blake what are we talking about this week this week we're talking about smart cities the tech is great but people don't want to forget about it so one of the biggest things there one way to enable evidence based decision making by cities is to integrate physical and digital urban infrastructure and identify different usage patterns and emerging trends of how people are functioning in their city however cities become increasingly digitized and is more technologies are integrated in more data is gathered the way this process is manager comes increasingly important and over the past 5 years a consortium of city authorities that are part of the sharing cities program that includes businesses academic partners and other technology companies have tested a range of smart technologies in cities across Europe integrating a range of you mobility solutions deep energy bell building retrofits smart street lighting Ansell stable energy management systems all underpinned by urban data platforms the adoptions of smart city infrastructure of course needs to be carefully manage a transparent because after all these are these cities are now monitoring its populace and making decisions based off of emerging patterns so Nick we talked about this I don't what I want to say it was at least a year ago the one of the first time in a merged where we we started seeing sketches for this that Google is putting together and I think even for us like in the local populace of San Diego we started seeing more articles about like the integration technology for smart cities and now we're kind of seeing in Europe a bigger test bed of what infrastructure should look like for that so this is pretty intense and really cool but to back up a second the biggest thing I think that this particular article is trying to get at is. This there's of course this pro and con of more more kind of technology be integrated into a city more data that's collected on its population in the use of that data being in meaningful ways and not in potentially nefarious ways. Yes I think the big takeaway for me with this is that you know more and more cities are trying to establish these playbooks at least this is part of this article right these playbooks of how to kind of make the smart cities. Work but not just the technology aspect of it the but work for the people and that's one of the main draws right and and yes we did talk about smart cities before we actually talked about like remember that the story that we talked about while ago about the the iconography about what data is being collected about you in these areas that was a fun too but but I think the important thing to think about or think through here is. Or at least the part that I'm taking away from this is you know it we need to get further to the left with incorporating user needs into what a smart city could be. I'm. You know this is this is a lot of like the. How early do you incorporate users and I think they need to be incorporated from the very get go with something like this because you have. You know either have 1000000 different technologies that could be implemented into a smart city and it's going to impact users in a variety of different ways and one of the most intriguing parts of a smart city to me is all the different touch points of a work flow for a user you know a user of a smart city if you if you will what what what would you call a resident right but they are user of a smart city and so you have to consider their needs right from the moment they wake up. But to the time they go to sleep and everything in between there and when they're actually asleep to their you know there could be other things going on we. We had even talked about. This is kind of like a perfect confluence of of all the stuff that we talked about 2 because we talk about like drones and how they have the the levels of drones for like emergency services drones and delivery drones and all that stuff and kind of the process control of what that might look like from a perspective right who controls the smart cities that automated or is it you know sort of logistical control center. And then there's the technology within I'm my brain is everywhere but this encompasses a lot of the things that we talked about was smart cities before. Absolutely yeah I think so this is like a really nerdy analogy that I want to make but I got really excited and I got a couple of years ago I got to work at a nonprofit focusing on giving them analytics and putting them like embedding Google analytics on their site and helping them understand at a better level like how user interaction was happening across our website with a could do to improve things in this it's freshly in this kind of European Eric I think really they they focused in London in this London situation is basically doing that on steroids away so you're almost taking into account so much of what's going on in your city that you can help plan what you're gonna do in the future so making things more electronic friendly right so providing E. bikes throughout the city or no if you need to put charging stations for more electric cars like being able to help understand the city's populace projection of like how technology is going to move. And really have that that data driven decision making on top of exactly what you were talking about understanding end user needs a really large scale can really have a lot of profound effect on how you plan to Sydney's growth or how you can plan like a newer larger scale city and I think it's it's gonna be interesting I think this is kind of funny that we went to such down such a deep rabbit hole talk about logistics because I think this is again like a system of systems problem that will take a lot of kind of time time and careful planning from a bunch of different people including a lot of different human factors specialist understand as you implement this technology how do you make sure that it's interfacing with different residents like you had mentioned in meaningful ways and not causing disruption and what is that all look like as you play it out so I the. The light I guess the flip a coin to that is really also as a user kind like we talked about with the icons understanding what what it means to be living in a smart city. Not being kind of like ignorant to it anyway so you understand data that's collected how it's used all that kind of different stuff so we don't end up in you know situations down the line where something's used in India for areas where if you will. Yeah I mean so so this specific article that we pulled from the next web they focus on look here these playbooks from the E. U.. And they focus on the solution but they don't talk about the user and so that's kind of what work that's that's our spring board for talking about it here like you said like there's a couple different solutions that that you came up with right there's you know the the E. bike sharing that you mentioned there's even like how to retrofit a building there's some information on smart streets there but I think the point that this next web articles trying to make. Is that in these outlines for how to basically create or or solve a smart city. I'm the user is largely ignored and so that's our queue here is human factors professionals to jump in and speculate how they might you know interface with this and and we've already talked about a lot of it and we've we've even like I said earlier we even brought some of the stuff up on the show the thing to me is like when you look at these playbooks that these that you know that just came out right the. It just it's one of those things where it gets me frustrated because it's like it's so easy to include just a what type of benefit does this have for the residents of a smart city and maybe they do I'll be honest I haven't dug deeply into any of these there might be a section on them that actually has you know and and that's because you know you have to request them specifically you can't just download them so it's one of those things is kind of locked behind a pay wall. So we haven't seen it but. The the idea here is that there might be a section within those that actually say what the impact for the residents are right E. bike sharing by making something available. You know that but that residents will be able to get from point a to point B. easier and more affordably than if these things were not available right that something so simple that you can outline and this is just a very cursory level benefit for the users but yeah I think my my whole argument here is that we just got to incorporate them at the very beginning like think about them before you think about the smart city I mean technology is cool but why are we incorporating all this technology if not to make it easier for the people that live there. Yeah in some way that is it's not necessarily well I I do think it is concerning because there's a there's a little light in here about basically it's it's kind of a lot of this data that's being collected to inform development of these types of playbooks that are meant to be you know options for infrastructure really there's they're saying they're going to collect this data create playbooks and put it in front of policy makers well we've known in the past and I think a lot of people in our for our human factors field have done a really good job and like inserting themselves in government policy issues and making sure that human factors voices are heard I think this is one of those instances where it would be super important to make sure that the right people are included in the conversation that somebody is looking out for the end user needs because the I I just want to be as honest as I can the way this article reads it seems like gather some cool things to be done but it is it seems more focused on making the city more run more efficiently than anything else now there is some obvious kind of like pluses to that right traffic might not be as much of a pain you may not really even half that you may have more. Got a robust public transportation if everything's running smoothly they even talk about a lot of the the aspects of implementing technology that's going to really focus on air quality in the environment as a whole in the city so lots of kind of obvious benefits to users when you think about it that way by the end of the day a lot of these things are being called out are very specific to energy saving things are going to help businesses thrive within their. New eco system but you're right there's not a whole lot of what happens for the end user but N. likely I would imagine all that still has to be figured out this is like such a high level infrastructure kind of concept they put together but you would hope that things like being able to basically it's it's kind of like our user service agreement when you walk into a city or when you walk into any sign of any town yeah you for yeah exactly you're basically you've got to figure out how to communicate that stuff and I did I think the biggest gripe that I would the biggest thing I would be afraid of is if it's put in what it's put to you in like a lease in terms that you don't necessarily understand and you got your vehicle hire a lawyer to understand how data is going to be used so I think that's a major problem that people in our field will have to try and figure out a tackle it's just that communication piece like what what ends up being done with all this data that's collected while I'm here and if a business owner what does that mean for me how's how's that information use from the city perspective and how can it out the old really benefit me as a business owner or somebody that's living in a city yeah Blake I I want to back up because you were actually kind of getting really close to. It's kind of the thing I was mentioning there just a second ago about like yes there's there's all this benefit for the user but if you're not capturing it if you're not recording it if you're not. Codifying it. Then you're losing some of the purpose for even having a smart city in the first place. I'm. I feel like. There needs to be R. E. I I feel like if you were to capture this information document it in these playbooks. You could almost build a brochure for advertising the smart cities. Out of those benefits to the residence right you can almost say look you got cleaner air you got less traffic you got you know more transportation options you got better business. Whatever you don't like you could build out a brochure that I attract people to your city that's a look there's less congestion because of X. Y. NZ there's you know like are you afraid of living in a city because of pollution well we got that because we got these you know greenhouse gas whatever you want whatever like it's just a matter of yeah capturing it what is the benefit for the end user and also. You know it's that whole argument of using tech for the sake of using tack or is it using tack because it benefits the people like I I man this this whole thing is just I'm. It when it when it doesn't include the user let me be clear when it doesn't include the user or when there's no obvious benefit for people that is when it's a mess and the the the the easy solution document it explain it what is the benefit for the user in the smart cities right like Blake if I were to tell you. In this smart city power will never go down because we have backups sorry sorry power will never go down how does that benefit the user. It just yeah I ever have to worry about their electric car failing yeah or either lights going off in their business if they own one right because the tech is is such that you know collect solar power in stores in batteries and so you know there's enough batteries to ensure that there's always a reserve to power the city for X. amount of days without. External power sources like a like a power plant or something right but outlined those benefits for the user right Hey you know you'll never have to worry about X. Y. or Z. not just the things that you power in your home not just your TV but your internet service provider they're never going to go down because you know their power will go out. Internet outages could still be a thing if like a cable gets cut in the middle of the ocean or something you know like that's that you know but there are other obvious benefits you know like Hey you never have to worry about your automatic doors to your apartment building opening or not opening up because it's not you know powered by electricity I don't know there's there's a lot of that's that's one very simple example. Mmhm like then you can also say like Hey we use 100 percent green energy here well what does that mean white white and white is that yeah why is that important to me as a right it's the tack but explain to me the benefits well actually there's less pollution for you in a smart city. Yeah and I think some of that like convenience factors which would be hard for people to even know about unless they're kind of explicit like in some way or another and one way that I think they've they're trying to handle that or at least it it seems like that's the goal of this social media platform an app they've designed called the digital social market kind of centered around providing people with better understanding of like what what benefits that smart city has what technologies available to you and what you can do in a smart city and kind of the impact to the environment and also it seems like there's also a social component to it so try to get people to interact with each other probably to incentivize each other to you know pay shopper local businesses and things like that to ultimately allowed the the city itself if you want to think of it that way to continue growing and collecting more information and data and stuff like that so I I think there may be more of that kind of stuff documented but it's not very you know explicit either in this article or like your machine you could be in the pay wall behind the playbook stuff it could be and and even if it's not it deserves to be in its own it deserves to be in its own playbook the user benefit playbook right for more information on the reason why users benefit that you know the reason for this user benefit go see the the deep energy retrofits for buildings it's like you know that's that's the source and so you can trace it back it's that traceability right if I were to tell you. I'm. Yeah that that digital social market there there yeah that's that's the one where it does kind of connect to the user and so I'll give them a little bit there and I think that's what you were mentioning to that digital social market yeah that out but it's it's kind of. To me that's more encouraging the residents to engage in prosocial behavior like recycling or you know a community. That community garden on the top of your building or something like that right though that that is what I think of when I think of that I don't think of Hey these are the benefits to the users. That are going to be a result of all these other improvements in technology right yeah I think it's more of an onboarding tool yeah I think it I think you do you have a good point in it it's interesting that you don't see as much explicit information about you like and use our benefit because you would imagine and liked it take away the the importance of it first the human factor side of it I mean that's great marketing material for something like this is like being explicit about what is good for people based off of these kind of technology implementations and what it what it can do for the end family the end business owner D. and whatever like community in itself so hopefully we do see a little bit more information about this act come out as he's gonna get wider spread because I'm hoping that what this means is overseeing test beds at such a scale like this but it's going to become more than just like articles or reading about in the U. S. and hopefully start being implemented in larger scale weighs in places like San Francisco or Boston or whatever maybe. Yeah there to be fair there are some webinars available for these right you can't get the playbooks without requesting it I'm not sure you know that the weapon ours are freely available so you know we might it's cool when I would go back and watch those. But you know they they. They have. More information there I'm I'm looking at some of these case studies they have green which in there so they they might have more information about what this app actually does I'm trying to quickly scroll through it as we're talking here but basically it it looks like you you kind of earn points for. Doing things like walking or cycling or charging electric vehicles are saving energy at home answering quizzes about your energy and and mobility and visit local shops to earn points so it sounds like this game application of. Of being you know of green energy and. To me that is a. I. I wouldn't say it's antithetical to what smart **** city should be. But it's not what I think of when I think of a smart city that serves its residents. I'm yeah that's that's definitely fair what it it's it's okay it kind of reminds me of like a social currency. You know where where like you have some sort of social currency associated with your person because you have installed. Solar panels on your house or you you've gone to certain shops that favor green energy or something and and yeah you know I'm all for. Remoting green energy but when you're giving some social status or or some points associated with your actions I think that. M. count counter intuitively. Goes against what a smart city should do you know like even schools can get points for being more energy efficient. At least in this example so like I. To me it seems kind of like a. It seems more like a social tool to encourage prosocial behavior which is a totally different argument than what a smart city should do for its residents. Yeah I think it's it's obviously not very clear what they're intending it to do I mean the thing that I that I'm kind of seeing now because I've gone to another article if playing to it as well in the all of the graphics and a lot of the wording like it's very much focused on the the changes are going to make in the city not necessarily impact. And although throughout all both articles and a lot of the graphics like citizen engagement is mentioned but the impact of it is not explicit so that does make me a little bit wary of what this actually means an implementation and it because I I'm even seeing like buzz words that you would see for. You know creating customer journeys with you know it citizens and stuff like that what's the outcome of all that stuff because it's definitely not clear in any of the suggested you know retrofitting or add a add ons to the city nor is it kind of clear what the overall impact has been of interacting with citizens and either even they're receptive to the idea of doing all of this. Gap looking okay so looking at the digital social market right they have like how did this how to deploy digital social market I can tell you there's like just a couple places where users are mentioned here right so the very first thing they have on there is impact mapping. And this is talking about stakeholders economic environmental and social impacts of the project the social impacts are where a user might be that actually seems more like a culture thing to me but from the way it's worded here but not necessarily user names but what problem the city is trying to solve and why. So that that the impact mapping is kind of user centered there you have on boarding right which is. Their user focused. And then maintenance. Which is user focused but those 3 points are really all I'm seeing there where the user is considered and those are in the early stages which fine but again. Like users need to be mentioned throughout you know some of these processes to make sure that their needs are captured at every step along the way you know. They do have I will say. I'm in this weapon are that I'm scrolling through this is the sharing cities smart city solutions digital social market weapon are for anyone who wants to follow along there is a slide with U. I. U. X. testing user experience and user interface testing. At at the. At the very top. I'm of the app so it's it's very apt focus this is kind of that same digital currency app that we were talking about yeah so so like if they consider it but only for the app and not necessarily the impact of everything that's going on around them I I I don't know just feels too bad to be because there's so much opportunity in this entire like if if you go back to the main words of what they're talking about in this article blurb is it this is developing infrastructure and there's so much more you can do with citizens and user testing and user interviews and even kinda like pseudo experiment things then focus on mobile app design there's way more at play here like with the amount of I. O. T. they're trying to in bed in a new city than the only focus on how do I kind of gave up by the experience or an application it's it's it's got it is kind of frustrating at this point first because we are definitely seeing like just you expose words all over the place now so it's it's just interesting almost as frustrating as scheduling a covert vaccine I'm almost almost all right man I am just about talked out on this topic you have anything else you want to talk about before we we depart this smart city let's let's just continue seeing smart city stuff roll out that's all I want to see is just more and more kind of technology were planning to use and what's the ultimate impact everyone else yeah yeah I agree I think the smarts many smart city stuff is really cool and I really want to see a user focused smart city being built a case study from start to finish with the user in mind and not necessarily the technology the technology school and that's all that's something that I was always told by the way is as a as an aspiring human factors professional study the material and not the technology right I was very interested in virtual reality why is it because of its novel and cool and new or is it because there are some. Really neat things that you can do in VR and at first it was the technology but I slowly became like I slowly came around to loving the subject matter more than the technology and I think that's something humbling that we all have to remember at times is. You know make sure to focus on on the user needs and why you're studying the thing versus the technology and I think that's a lesson that we can apply to smart cities for sure. All right well I just wanna thank our patrons this week for selecting the topic our patrons do choose the news and thank you to our friends over at the next web for this great article on why users should be included in this smart city technology we're gonna take a quick break I went really quick though we are posting all these links to these original articles in our slack. And I'm going through all these articles on Tuesdays exclusively on twitch so if you want to check it out there we do have our office hours there so you can come and see what doesn't make the cut we're gonna take a quick break and we'll be back to see what's going on in the human factors community right after this human factors cast strive to bring you the best in human factors chatter every week we've had interviews reviews and overall fun conversations into each and every product that we put our seal of approval on but we can't do it without you you see the human factors cast network it's 100 percent listener supported all the physical running this show come from the listeners that's why we're giving back to our supporters on Patreon now more than ever pledges start at just $1 per month and include rewards like 247 access to our exclusive human factors cast slack channel and personalized professional reviews and human factors cast infinite. 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Really complex topics in just one minute of your time so if you're looking for human factors on the go it's a great way to stay in touch and it's a but the wide variety of topics to Amanda talking like you know we got some human factors and ergonomics society technical groups in there. You know we got everything from forensics to a Chernobyl minute mini series what have we done forensics that I just spoil it for somebody you know you gotta now no we did that we did that while ago we got like you know augmented cognition in there HFE woman are you curious about those types of things we have a man human factors minute and and you can get that on Petri on so go check it out I hate baking but donations like that do you continued support really does keep the show running there you know everything that we pay for it out of pocket so whatever you can give to support anyway let's get let's go ahead and get into this next part of the show came. Right from. This week. Pardon so show were research all over the internet. Where you know we pick out some topics that might be of interest for us to sit here and ramble about it's it's actually topics the communities talking about we just had our commentary too it really is what we're doing. And change that up yeah Beale yeah you know so it so here we go Blake we got we got time for a couple of them yet yeah we got some time let's see here I'm gonna go ahead and just get started let's just read through it we have a ton in here so we can just go through some of the. There's lots of really good ones so we'll start here with this one. Tell me your struggles so we can make a change like us getting out trump but he struggled with this once Karamoja double 09 from the user experience abroad hello I've been in the industry for a while and just recently started my own business but I haven't been in the job market for a while now so I'm curious to hear from people here junior or senior what's something that you're struggling with in user experience or human factors and what do you wish it could happen I'm compiling this information in an effort to Bubba you know basically. What are your pain points from human factors or user experience professional perspective. Yes is an interesting 11 that I struggled with for most of my career and I think it's only really starting to come together and now believe it or not in the past 3 months is process and that there is there's definitely no kind of 1 size fits all U. acts designer human factors process to use and you do have to. Implement changes depending on project needs and stuff like that there's a lot of variables right but there is there there are processes that work better than others and there are ways to try and match like an agile software development that will work first is just kind of trying to do everything you can and not following any kind of scheduling or anything like that so one thing I I guess that I really struggled with it just kind of figuring out what design and research proxy process works best for my teams and how can we start all kind of a baseline as on like all on the same page in order to kind of tackle a problem because I I am I become I think in the past little while really a strong believer that you it's good to have a blueprint but you'll have to shape it for what you need it for. But it would be great if it if I if I don't know if I felt like there was more readily available documentation or you 2 videos whatever kind of medium that really focused on kind of process and how it's applied. From from bike bigger companies or mid tier companies just things that have been successful that others can learn from I think there's a lot of still like hiding stuff behind the gate that happens which I get it there's some magic that you want to keep secret but I think there's alternately if were able bird produce design process season research process these that are in the applied world that all help us create better products and shorter timelines that it's ultimately going to create a night a better market and a better set of tools and stuff like that the other one that's really you access and my career path specific is what what am I gonna do am I going to be are you excited about going to be a front end developer am I going to be some hybrid between the 2. So I think that's been an interesting conversation I've had with a bunch of people recently that find themselves in the same boat doesn't make sense for you to be in the U. X. field if basically what you're doing is you're front and front end engineer that understands design and in my case you X. research or human factors methods. So I think kind of figuring out what career path is an interesting one for myself anyway but that's just me hopefully. What Kerr mocha double 9 you can you hear this and we can figure it out together but Nick what are some of the things you struggle with either in your career path or whatever it is right now that's a good question the thing I struggle with is. The career path is one of them. Right I am largely my experience has been. Opport opportunities of chance and not necessarily. You know directed towards my interests and that's fine I've been interested in all the things that I do know that I've worked on otherwise I would have taken the job but it's always been adjacent to the thing that I've always wanted to do and so it's like how do I connect that bit with what I'm doing now so that way I'm always working towards that in case there is that pivot arm since you know so that we can kind of use what I'm learning now and apply it to that later so that's one struggle and another struggle is obviously communicating what you do and and the intent behind your changes as to not upset any feelings like that's a that's a really difficult part of the job and it's something that you have to be cognizant of because there are some people that are going to be really proud of mediocrity as we talked about the free show and. You know there's there's going to be. There's gonna be those people in it and you don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. And so like being able to phrase something in terms of the users and say the users need this because look at the data and connecting those 2 things together is something that's that's a challenge sometimes because it's like in your head you know this is a better call to organize these things in this way but you don't necessarily have any data to back it up and so you have to like work ahead of yourself if you know that the change that you're going to recommend to get some of the users to either suggest that or to you know get user data that's going to suggest that so that way. If you know it's gonna be a tough sell you can bring it to them and say look this is exactly what they're saying. It's not me it's not me it's them they they need this look it's right there yeah so that's a no that's another struggle so that's kind of where I'm at with those I think that's a great question yeah yeah that's a really good one got you pulled up yeah I'm gonna pull let's see here I'm actually go down here to. First human factors job some of the skip a couple of these Blake what might circle back if we have time. This is from crafty example 4688 from the human factor subreddit this is hello guys will be graduating with a bachelor's industrial engineering right took human factors related coursework I want to make the transition to human factors field you don't have research experience but I was responsible for the design of a workstation as well as ergonomic evaluations and design of other components at my coop what kind of position do you think I could get now in the field or would you recommend you know or would you recommend human factors engineer human factors researcher you axe would you recommend an internship should I get a master's degree I know there's a master's program offer you're out there that offers traineeships any advice so Blake I would approach this more the. This is this is definitely a junior question and this is something that I think you and I are going to struggle with because I want to frame it more from a mindset of how do you transition to the field from bachelor's degree you know because you and I both have master's so take it away go. Yeah I'm gonna ended up I'm gonna in my comment probably not know what you want me to okay that's fine but regardless this is it this is interesting to me because this is a industrial engineering program and sometimes I have I have friends who dictates master's degree programs but they're here human factors degree is coming out of an industrial engineering program so they have like a he they are a true human factors engineer from industrial engineering so we went with your course work and stuff like that I mean she is having human factors ergonomics and like product design that's a lot of really heavy hitting stuff that kind of gives you a wide array of possibilities so I mean it is a grad out of school it's it really becomes from my perspective down how your how you're selling yourself and what you want to do with human factors and yeah I mean it looks like if you have like if you let's say you wanted to do a physical workstation designer focus on like physical product design you already have like an example it seems like. Of research work like physical work that you've done to come up with a design that probably had to meet specific standards and things like that for your coop so I would really kind of play that up in your experience. The end in June in a lot of like junior stuff I've seen people like kind of focus on where their skills that fly so courses taken out things like that another interesting opportunity for you is getting involved in a local you know human factors group whether it's H. F. yes or whatever may be available to you because that's another way to just build a network and kind of learn more from other people because to flip the flip things upside down a little bit like I don't have a background in design I certainly don't have a background and knowing how to code but I do have a human factors back background but I learned most of think most things I did for learning how to design learn how to code from networking opportunities that I got from either meet ups or you know organizations whatever it may be so that kinda networking aspect of it I think would be really important for you. The other thing and this is the last bit. I don't I don't I don't really know what the world holds for this stuff but the the whole thing that is most attractive about if a master's program is an option for you is that potential to have an internship built into it so that that's an invaluable experience I mean education aside and applied methods aside the you will likely learn which you may already have experience in now that ability to kind of have some built in research experience plus internship plus networking opportunities there's a lot that goes with that but you can definitely still build that with what you have now because it seems like you have relevant knowledge some experience and it really would sound like just building network from here. Yeah yes so here's the thing there's. Look like like I said Blake in my perspective is from the master side of things I think there are some interesting pathways that you can go one why not try to apply to these jobs especially if you feel like you have the experience what what do you have to lose they say no and you have experience interviewing for positions. They say it what's the best that can happen they say yes and you get a job offer. A couple things to note with that a lot of the folks that I know in the human factors field have advanced degrees so either a master's or a PhD. And that makes them a little bit more competitive however your bachelor's makes you a little bit cheaper from a company perspective the higher so there's trade offs right so I can see a benefit for a company hiring you out of out of you know with a bachelor's degree I'm so so my advice just look look form if you can't find a job that works for you maybe try an internship in the tri job after that if you can find one. You know if not then maybe look into more advanced degree but I don't think like I am not one of those people that says you have to get an advanced degree in order to to do human factors and in fact there's a lot of. You know psych majors that go into it like user experience and stuff so it's like while they may not have the additional training that you know a grad school might offer they might not have the specialized subject matter that a grad school can offer they might still have the foundation to work off basic research and you know you work with participants to understand the user needs through cognitive psychology right that is all stuff that you cover in an undergrad and you know if you I am I know I'm gonna make a couple people mad here but if you may if you read a couple books like you know you can get most of the way there yeah really what what comes down to is experience and you know it's always difficult finding a job out of school it is and so like what I'm gonna say is keep trying and hopefully you know it'll work out. Mmhm yeah that's that's wrong leave that one. Nice very good I got one more for Blake you ready let's go yeah using user experience internships for human factors experience this is from physic. On human factors subreddit so I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in psychology so again we're I should have wrote this in the last one anyway and I'm really interested in going into human factors have a pretty good GPA and lab experience but I think having experience slash an internship will really help give me the upper edge into getting in to a nice program so this is not necessarily from the getting a job perspective but getting into a program perspective so we can look at him that way my problem is that there aren't really any human factors internships in my area and my principal investigator for my labs that I should look at you accentor chips instead I'm curious how well. You experience from a user experience internship carries over to human factors on a grad school application I find that a lot of companies want you accentor and to have a lot of experience with design programs but I've been doing a lot of statistical research in my undergrad any help would be appreciated Blake. Yes so look for to the best of your ability I mean looking for you X. internships can be well and fine but I would imagine most U. X. internships are going to be looking for somebody with design chops in addition to knowing how to do the research side if you're really focusing on the statistical analysis and kind of all of that in the undergrad a look for you X. our internships and they they will be out there more specialized kind of job postings and stuff like that are more common now so kind of put that in the back of your hat as well no terms of what how's the carry over I'm a big proponent of just it's how you telling that story I mean if you want to apply to an age of grad program and use your basically work experience to help you get there I think it's just crafting a story and if you already have good lab and research background and now you've gone out and gotten a gotten basing it applied internship and like you're taking what you learned in your psychology degree and applying it to real world problems that should make your pretty good candidate from my perspective for grad school applications. It'll be a lot of kind of trying to think about what do I really focus on and in my internship that I can really think about talking about it HM grad program application so what kind of how did I understand user needs what process he's that I use I use any kind of out of the box method so you don't really see used a lot. So I I think that there's definitely so from my perspective it was not a popular one all the time but I think there's a massive overlap between the user experience world human factors world and I yeah I would be very surprised if you're experiencing any kind of your acts are internship did not carry over very well for HF program so yep that's kind of my $0.2 Nick what you got yeah that I think I think you're right I think. Like if you look at it any experience is better than no experience and so if you can find E. U. acts design internship that's. Probably fine I think Blake you nailed it on the head there's a user researcher experience out there that probably more closely fits their skill set and would probably be a better fit for grad school you know I think overall. You were absolutely nailed it on the head you know it's how you phrase things and how you tell that story so we're on the same page there I don't really have much to add to that I think you can opt out of the park thanks for stealing my thunder Blake will. All right with that what's in the show that's it for today everyone let us know what you guys think of a story this week her story you know if you want you can join this discussion on our slack we do post all those news stories that I go to during office hours you can check us out office hours twitch.TV slash human factors Catholics gonna be hanging out this Sunday your reach us directly you can do that he backs cast G. mail.com like what you hear your sports show there's a couple ways you can do that one you can leave us a review on your podcast medium of choice. You know 5 stars great not to you can let a colleague know about it that's how we grow and there's a lot of new people for the show so welcome if you're new and 3 you can always join us on patriotic we give back to our patrons because P. 3 on our priority and of course you can always reach us at our home on the web in that link is in the description I thank Mr Blake are stored to be on the show they work our listeners going find you if they wanna talk about what's going on with office hours. You guys can come find me on Sunday from 8 to 9 no it's a little bit early P. S. T. hello at twitch.TV slash human factors cast and if you want to get in touch with me across social media you can reach me at at don't panic you axe as for me I've been host Nick Rome you can find me across social media at Nick _ row and streaming on twitch office hours on Tuesday at 11:00 Pacific thanks again for tuning in human factors cast until next time. It depends.