Human Factors Minute is now available on Spotify: Check it out here!
Jan. 14, 2022

E231 - Are Virtual Conferences More Inclusive?

This week on the show, we talk about how virtual conferences are more inclusive and eco friendly and answer some questions from the community about useful electives to take in school to augment your Human Factors journey, how to network when most networking events are happening online now, and our favorite/recommended exercises throughout the Design Process.

This week on the show, we talk about how virtual conferences are more inclusive and eco friendly and answer some questions from the community about useful electives to take in school to augment your Human Factors journey, how to network when most networking events are happening online now, and our favorite/recommended exercises throughout the Design Process.

Recorded live on January 13th, 2022, hosted by Nick Roome, &  Barry Kirby.

| News:

  • Image Source: Pexels

| It Came From:

Let us know what you want to hear about next week!

Follow us:

Thank you to our Human Factors Cast Honorary Staff Patreons: 

  • Michelle Tripp

Support us:

Human Factors Cast Socials:



  • Have something you would like to share with us? (Feedback or news):


Disclaimer: Human Factors Cast may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through the links here.


Welcome to human factors yeah your weekly podcast for human factors psychology and design. Hey at the soda 200 $0.31 human factors cast recording this live on 1/13/2022 I'm your host Nick Roman joined today by Mister berry Kirby hello hello Hey everyone we got a great show for you all tonight we're only talking about how virtual conferences might be more inclusive in eco friendly and later we're gonna be answering some questions from the community about useful electives to take in school the augment your human factors journey how to network with most of those networking events are happening online now and we'll talk about some of our favorite recommended exercises throughout the design process but first Hey I we have a human factors digital media lab that you can participate in if that is something that you are interested in we're really excited to have our 2020 to kick off meeting tomorrow so it might be a little late if you're listening to this but we're always looking for energetic passionate people to join our lab and maybe get their hands dirty with some human factors work or you know figuring out some interesting ways to communicate human factors I would like to plug it because it is such a cool thing that we started over here and really proud of some of the stuff that's come out. But anyway that's that's all we have for show notes. Community updates that programming that's what I'm looking for that's all we have for those this week we know where you here let's go ahead and get into. Yes even factors news this is the part of the show all about human factors news really interesting one this week that's kind of tangentially human factors related to bury what is the story this week so this week we're talking about a virtual conferences are better for the environment more inclusive so they could be 19 pandemic is bolt that travel work any person committed to hold but new research finds the shift is made easier for more people who could not previously attend these events to participate I don't know what the environmental footprint researchers analyzed several signs of conferences that went at virtual during the early months of the pandemic in a new paper published in nature sustainability the researchers and examined the environmental social and economic costs of virtual conferences compared with in person events analyze how the shift online alter participation by women early career researchers and scientists from underrepresented institutions and countries. The study found the virtual events lower costs and reduce time and travel commitments that have previously held some concede back from attracting a diverse group of attendees. Also the environmental costs of hundreds of thousands of people flying from around the world to attend a conference eliminated. In addition to cost in person events also require tremendous investments in time. These events often acquire these events require travel off last minute bus multiple days and take all of the attendees time wise while the other. The study found that many benefits to virtual conferences but the challenges do remain among them a lack of engagement the missing on in person networking an impressive conferences begin to return but the researchers expect many bands to create hybrid of hybrid offerings potentially at lower prices. So it seems that the the idea of these conferences are potentially here to stay what do you think about the neck hi in other no doubt news it sounds like you know. I I think a lot of this is fairly self evident with the benefits of some of these virtual conferences yes they're more eco friendly when you look at everything. No one 's traveling to these things and you can put it on for a relatively small carbon footprint when no one 's taking planes and no one 's having to stay in hotels that use energy that all this stuff I think it also makes sense from the other perspective where you know it to be inclusive for somebody to just stay at home and you know that is your sort of lodging for that conference event that the cost of admission might be lower because you don't have to reserve a space physically. It just seems very obvious to me but I do think that this is a really cool spring board for talking about conferences just in general I know this is a human factor show but there are human factors conferences and there's human factors jantan gentle conferences that should follow this format and it's a really interesting thing you can actually do you can use human factors principles to make conference is better and so this is a little bit of a departure from our typical human factors content but still very relevant berry what did you think of this story. Yeah I think clearly the pandemic has provided a real real point in time to think seriously about yeah budget of doing stuff online did you say you know innovation needs is the mother of a boy is born out born from necessity and if we didn't we weren't able to you do these things online that we just wouldn't of we want to be able to have any calls to the toll where is as it happens I think I probably attended more conferences during the pandemic because I've been down to just dial into them June into them teams into them or whatever software you can't get to choose. We don't jump into them and. I've been able to get to a lot more content I'm to be a present to a much broader a broader range of audiences I mean this year we've already been to Australia we going to states in a couple weeks we'll do it also there's various bits and bobs. And so yet breeding and the ability full you know people for multiple people from companies to go to the small things no me if you got you got 1 person going to a conference so I will come out of the technological be so maybe I'll department or something because you can't afford to have 2 or 3 people out to the department you can't afford to travel the 23 people and that's before you get into I think which which is 1 of the mainstays of the item article which is actually a lot of good represented people can go there it's not just the the person who normally goes on the conference can can go to the commercial the heavy weight goes the call since its the everybody can have the opportunity but I do think as he doesn't does rise as well we the presenting the information side of things is is 1 half probably 2 thirds of what a conference is about the user base is actually talking to people a stake in the coffee breaks is the going to go up to somebody and say Hey I just heard your toll could you come and tell me a little bit more about it may be all I disagree with the wall I whole heartedly you know that the whole interface it is a. Are submitted to me one time they they sort of call me bugs suggest those big stupid but then I found the best because they yeah I did I did with this good what that what they were saying and and and in prose. The and I will do that again soon as well but yeah the idea that you you've got to have that be the bit about the bid around the fringe that bit about no gun has gone into the bar in the evening or whatever to to to choose death over meet new friends I still don't think we got that 30 cracks on online yet so I think before we talk about that in a bit as well Sir yeah we will I hate I often joke that the that we we go out networking when where and I I do the air quotes for networking because it is it is drinking at night with yeah your human factors bodies and just talking about the stuff that either you're presenting on or catching up on life and that's. Really important and what we'll talk about that in a little bit and I don't wanna put the cart before the horse but I do think that is a really important aspect of it that I think a lot of people know is important. I'm sorry I cut off your your opening thoughts. No no I have not that pretty much sums it up I was going going to suggest that maybe do we want to talk about some of them M. you know we you mentioned your bit that the weed the rocky besides issues in organizing the site the end of nice again successful conference center what do you think some of them are yeah let's talk about we have we have a long list here maybe we just talk briefly about him if we have anything to say we can. Dig into one but first and foremost is the organization of the conference itself right now I think if you think about before virtual only conferences or before hybrid. Conferences I think. There is. There's a distinct difference I know some conferences will actually require that their leadership get together in a small gathering to plan out the conference that now happened has to happen digitally as well right there are. Pre arrangements to make their stuff that you do after a conference is kind of like a post mortem there's always backup plans that happen to contingency plans as well and so. There needs to be a lot of thought and effort put into the planning phase itself and that usually result in a better conference you know the better prepared you are to go in. Then the better your conference is going to be and so that planning phase is really important we can talk about how that is impacted by being remote I think it's fairly obvious there too but did you want to talk about anything here you wanna move on to the next 1 nothing that I think just as a reinforced hole planning been solved the problems that you don't see that show you how good a conference is so you don't need 2020 for the saxophone always conference we E. I'm assigned a committee meeting was in February 20 Febru time whatever net and they were they the council meeting this at all well you know this this coronavirus but we're still a physical meetings there's a coronavirus saying we don't know quite what's going to happen so maybe we need to think about going online and and stuff like that and you could so far not feeling rather regard yeah I guess we should do something like that please don't happen to be fine you know but you have a contingency is probably a good idea. But it just shows that the effort that the that the team after login team that went to so when the pandemic Kate Wilhite we need to go online actually was it felt I am I know it wasn't because there's a lot of effort went into it B. fell it was Turkey it felt like it was it was a natural transition and if you DOT level of planning that level of Bach planning and contingency planning shows if you've got a really good team together that they can just turn this thing on he just runs and in the end it's almost seems as if well what did you expect you know because it seems make such a difference how much how much lead time do you have on that but between like lock down and the event. I'm look so the conference was in April so about a month okay so not a lot really see because I had something very similar happened to me where we were doing it wasn't a conference but it was for user event and. Basically what happened was there were it was a large gathering of. I guess 200 plus people that were all coming together and we were still unsure the week before the event whether or not things would go into lockdown things went into lock down here in the states I think on that for Thursday and the event was the following Monday and so we had 4 days to really prepare what that would look like in a virtual format where it went off without a hitch but that's because we planned we started thinking like oh yeah this might actually happen and then we did yeah great let's get into academic program I think this is really important for a lot of conferences berry or talk about this one yes I mean when you put me to put together the academic program and sometimes I do so both of the about the academic bit of actually because I think we should be transitioning to a broad range which actually the online stuff lets you do morals but you need to have a good range of presentations and you have the you look at the entire focus of what the cost is about so make sure you got a broad range of stuff there will be that will appeal to different people's interests because you want to go go with the main call of what's going on but actually what I'm if you wanna branch out a bit diversified and you don't have you'll have your thoughts tested of all brought the breath tested so don't be too scared about exploring some diff different bits about the about the format about trying new things to get many calls in which members of a couple days a journey conference all talking posters old you know let people come with ideas about M. showing the content in in different ways the courage of rights you programming so it isn't just the S. straight to a presentation it could be it could be different things in that the M. different delivery wise but the program should be attractive it should be easy to use it should be easy to digest take that information it's almost out souvenir of the conference it's that take away that you can put on the shelf and look back with fond with before listen I'm good memories. Even the what we talk about the environmental aspects it should be made available online so you gonna it can be it is digital rather than just object bridge program and you should be made available before the conference go so people can dive into into the papers can dive into the contents and how some thoughts before they before the see the presentation and so allow them to know what presentation that might want to go and see. So there's a lot about the program that you can put together and basically make it really retracted but also make it really accessible in ways that perhaps we haven't always done in the past. Yeah I think one big point that is starting to emerge here is making this frictionless for the conference goers I think that is kind of the thing that we're seeing and we'll see it continue here the next one that I want to jump into his venue and this is something that largely was in control of. Ical locations right you could talk to a hotel and see what kind of accommodations they can make for your conference how many rooms they have available. Now the venue is digital and we can talk about what digital venues look like we've actually been to a couple conferences virtually that have interesting venues will talk about those but that's now one thing that you need to control out for but in a different way because now everyone's on their own climate they're they're in their own environment and so this area that I'm in is my conference area it is also where I podcast is also where I work. And so it is different now. You know you eat you no longer have to worry about things of whether or not you have good connectivity for wifi you don't need to worry about whether or not. People work online and need to take off a full day for the conference because they can just kind of depend on out depending on their work schedules. I think I think this is a big one that is you don't worry about equipment you have to worry about transportation to and from the venue you know it's there's a lot of things that now are cut out it's like what what digital platform do I used to host this event it's it's different. Yeah I don't I don't really have much else to say on that you wanna get into the social program just one more thing on venue actually is when we talk what because we gonna talk about what is going to become a quite low but they decided hybrid conference about whether what we do online and I'm the tool so that sort of goes along with venue so how. And I don't think I don't think I've heard this idea of an answer to this but the hybrid nature could be something we really think about and it's going to evolve I think of next copias about what is good hi Bridget hybrid elements look like is it the same event at the same time is it split 2 bands or whatever. It's a great point. Yeah I'm so. He's overly too early at the possibly the most important part of a good conference is the is a social program the when in the in the old days the buildings on the on going if you talk to people is in the coffee break was it not better maybe to stop the conference despite the end but actually you know it in the end to be to be what you hope would be holding that cooker disgusting coffee and and deputy so but now we it's it seems to be so much so much difference likely coffee breaks themselves how many bands you've got the other stands to go look around you've got the. You gonna go pick up the U. freebies yo you guys it's you goodies but we also have yet that you have a pen you have a lanyard to tote bags very popular nowadays you know them better it's it's what would you have the topic but everything else is so whoever gets the top I got focused and TV's on the is on the wind I am. But you a lot of these go to now also house of similar to social activity so we can be everything from home quiz nights too. The we we I did what will be the murder mystery of which was which was really really bizarre religious exiles all also found it less now is one of the characters but also everything from comedy to protrude things to going outside in the city walk 6 eccentric xetra so it difficult the company itself is not just about the delivery of that information it's about the opportunity to engage and sometimes it might be the the one time in the US army what I find because if you're going to go out with this consultancy in the economics will you might only be one of 2 view in a larger organization so it's not that if we get together as a as a cold and so it's a one time in the other I think that there's a bunch of people who can get together and you can reminisce of we don't know the past year maybe what you did about 5 years ago and over and over to us Winona or jar veil that type of thing. I'm. But I think that they're not the only things that help make it work you want to talk about the political and stuff yes Sir so the staff is going to be sort of key for whether or not something is successful lot of this what a times depends on volunteers being able to. Stand in and. Kind of guide some of these. I guess discussion panels or anything are you a bit basically depends on the people and a lot of it is going to be who's working the registration counter and who's you know checking people N. or who's making sure that you've only had one alcoholic beverage with your free ticket at the you know. There's a lot of people in there's obviously hotel staff that can help with that but I'm using hotel or conference. Conference staff that can help with that but a lot of it that really does depend on the people and so. I don't know how much this changes from a physical environment to a virtual environment but the only thing I do see changing is the way we communicate and so. M. I can talk a little bit about that when we get to with the conferences that we've attended and kind of the difference there but do you want to talk a little bit about the speakers that we sort of. Bring in for some of these conferences because I think that's also another really important draw it is I mean D. M. the the quality of the speaker is going to direct a flat roof directly rank your conference A. N. terms of what you know how good your content is going to be that it's the it's the initial stuff that's going to draw people in Adams and that is also reflected in any of the. Bringing out the that that nature of if you the R. as the pre advertising but when you're in there was while you listen to that presentation you listen to what they've got to say and they will more than likely be holistic reflection and so this probably for every comes up into this probably only 1 or 2 people else they'll stick in the back of the mind and when you bring at once they they're the people that that will be doing a lot of work to get you to why you ask but it's not just them so you got your baby 23 keynote speakers going to 3 big guns as it were but you will be so many more people who are presenting who just do it you don't I'll suggest doing the data we don't you know that directly but for some it will be the first time sensing it'll be you know so it's it's about who's providing a good supportive. Community to allow them to come and tell us what they're going to say because the mind of an experience to presenting stuff but they wouldn't have been selected to come and tell us about it if you if the stuff that wasn't they were they were going to tell us is a good stuff so was the big speakers are really important so the little guys like us so we we should cherish the mole. I agree that so I'm just I'm a kind of skip over the next 2 I'm gonna mention them briefly and I'll get in the next one I I only mention this because it doesn't really impact us directly conference goers directly I should say so there's things like value for money making sure that the people who are going are getting. Something for their money I think that does impact us but if you look at other things like sponsorships. That kinda helps offset those costs of having some of the. Some of those materials available to you also talk briefly about advertising. Advertising happens at conferences this is people you see them kind of sitting in the exhibition hall which is quick another thing that we'll talk about here in a minute but and and that changes dramatically for these types of events you can plaster advertisements all over an event online and it just becomes different it I don't see it as 2 different from a physical environment where you have an advertisement on you know maybe a banner on the program or anything like that it's still kind of in your face it's still there making its way into the unconscious I am gonna get into plenary sessions because you talk about the speakers. Yes these are these are kind of the. The bread and butter if you will day job talks that are about the research is actually being done maybe not these huge transformative names in the field or it could be but they're just presenting on some of the work that's coming out of their lab. At least in the human factors domain right there's sort of this some this feeling of belonging to a group when you have a set of topics that a plenary session is kind of centered around right so like my favorite but one of my favorite ones at H. F. yes which is actually really hard to do virtually is. My V. R. and me I think it's called that or something might remain a my V. R. and me I I don't it's basically a room where people give a 5 minute presentation about their V. are and how it's helping. Whatever it is and then you can go around the room and demo those things and it's really cool that's harder to do virtually but you know having having a topic of VR and demos that actually does bring a bunch of people together and make them feel like group and that also helps promote the networking aspect of it I've talked enough once you get into the exhibition room. Yeah I mean the the exhibition room is all about the bit where you know everybody can took advertise their wares beef rolled you know the books which is of the that the popular one yet I haven't seen this this lady published and anybody who's going to go to a desk that we freebies I mean this is where this is going to get hotter in the in the virtual space so we talk about advertising but he was well I'm sponsored conferences both live virtual and one of the best things I like to sponsor a Colombians for example because money is everybody's got them a present is whether they can you get really really good exposure it isn't quite the same on the online so when we move to the online bit the or what what how could translate that sponsorship into an online which I'm not entirely sure and I'm not convinced there is a value for money from an employee Johnson is responsible specter would necessarily found the right thing I will say what what they believe is being bound. But I don't know whether that same level of impact is that yes and the same is almost 4 exhibitions how do we get how do we do the exhibition room in the in this virtual space. But D. it's it will also see how the evils but fundamentally we need it is a really valuable pop the conference because it's a big way you can just have a veterans and and you know find that book that you could never find online and things like that so. How do you find the do you find committees actually sports speakers. Right well yes I I think being clear in communication. Sort of making sure that they are aware of what the process is for submitting a paper for when they are going up what the schedule looks like all that stuff is really important and I think this is actually changed with digital formats because now they can pre record they're they're recording and just give them a video and they don't even necessarily have to be there which is kind of really dramatic change from needing to be there in person a lot of people will reprieve recorded show up and answer questions have the discussion afterwards at least from my experience I am gonna skip over a couple these I'll mention them briefly I think we talked about a lot of sort of the the key elements that make conference successful there's also considerations about the size of the conference what to do when the conference is over following up with participants or conference goers. There's also kind of what is included in that conference packages it just a conference or are their workshops as well and then last but not least all this we've kind of been mentioning is in efforts to make sure that the people who are going to these conferences feel like their experience is a good 1 and sort of reducing friction at every point along the way what kind of lead to that now I I do want to jump in to kind of our experiences with conferences because we've got a different conferences over the last 2 years that happened virtually that we've been to in the past that have traditionally happen in person did you want to talk about any like like pick maybe 1 conference that you can compare and contrast or 2 congresses yeah I mean it will be useful for me is the is the site of a comics conference which they held on line 20202020 and 2021 they were you know the basics are the same the same principles but they run an old old Disley and you have the main present to do with the thing and the other shot Bob that you could actually go on trucks in. And you go diving in that day he still round some of the debates that because they don't even their AGM but the conference as well and actually having the AGM online with many well much more tat better tended than any other region I think about that and it allowed them to do like a pre vote saying all this also so that was old really good I think there is certainly a lot but then. The day took over the bit that they mean that didn't work quite so well in the first exit it didn't happen was we didn't get much of a social. Element because actually they run a killer quiz they did the quiz you don't need really good really well attended and all seed without having I felt like that was something you know there's a hole in that which then they they did they sorted out the the following year this is gonna be quite interesting because they're doing both they're running at an online to this day so it's all the Naples would stop people that do not 2 days online and then they do the physical 2 days at the back end of April so we'll see how that runs out but the one that we Max out was the your economics conference yeah tagging that one because that one is really interesting that one was at the virtual venue actually made a lot of things feel like a traditional conference you know they had it was a virtual environment we've if you want to go check it out check out our NBC 21 coverage. And maybe watch the videos because we did actually the it's basically like 8 bit sprites where you're navigating around this virtual environment going to different conference sessions. That were ultimately links to zoom links but I mean you know it it worked it was kind of like you're occupying the space ultimately I think what happened is they just threw out a bunch of zoom links and today if you're interested in this go to this link if you're interested in that go to that link I'm not work because it wasn't a big conference it was kind of small and intimate but being able to navigate your avatar to visit to virtual space it was kind of interesting because you can hear other conversations going on is still like this weird do I jump in and say something with this conversation I'm I'm just gonna kind of sit over there in this corner until someone comes over and interact with me there were other sort of networking events that felt a little forced especially when like you know there wasn't I think it's part of the tools that they were using but overall I think it was a really interesting take on that virtual conference what it what did you think of it yeah it was interesting I mean you mentioned that you are having the staff left to help you along the way and that's I think one of things I felt that was missing because it was I spent a lot of time try to work out what's going on how is it how my men to navigate the space and I spend more time focusing on the the navigation the space rather than joining the that that the content of books again that was because that was the first time I've used it so clearly that would be a an issue I would have the next time we went in but you're right in terms of a tree try to do a replication the space but it wasn't a like the father he went to this a bit approach because it was also going to play minecraft it wasn't trying to do anything. And see because a single something super V. R. or something like that you always get somebody and and I'm looking at you professor Bob stone who jumps into any that's what conversations they will that's not good enough that's not you know that's not quite right and so it just the gated all of the occupied put onto a very common playing field which I thought was great it was a really different way of interacting I don't know I quite like to organize the event in the office space again something small something intimate to really explore how that would work. But then part of me is also like just that just the normal single I'm because the defense that this or that the alleged that sort of give you would you can mold when multi track events cool whereas the CHF one that I mentioned was very much single track because you've got one screen and you'll make the most of that one screen space so yeah interesting yeah one note on the help I'm surprised you felt that way because I felt the opposite I felt that the helpers were in these bright yellow avatar uniforms with these big top hats that you couldn't miss some. And they were standing around everywhere in various places and so maybe it's just the you needed some offline help to to it yet without interacting with a person to navigate the space but that's interesting yeah yeah I could talk about each of the S. as well H. FES has been different from I did go to a hybrid version this year. But I I know they have split that up into 2 separate things. I can talk about what it looks like from a virtual perspective it looks like just a bunch of screens it looks like you're in a in a virtual lobby where you can kind of go oh here's the exhibition hall here's poster sessions here's that and so it is kind of still figuring out how to navigate in this virtual space but I think a lot of the stuff that we talked about here represented there I do wanna bring up a couple of these article this discussion talking points maybe let's pick like 2 or 3 that were let's let's pick to each and then we'll kind of go through for me. You know we talked about sustainability I think one of the the point here is that in in person attendance for scientists from Africa to several recent events was on the average of 80 percent to 250 percent of their country's annual purpose per person GDP with approximately 3 percent per capita GDP for U. S. participants and so that any that inequity between. Countries is going to be massive for being able to attend these virtual events because anyone could go to them as long as they have internet and can you know pay the. Ice of admission. So I was 1.that stuck out to me what sticks out to you. I am I was blown away by the winds participation so the women's participation in virtual conferences increased as much as 253 percent compared with previous conferences I mean that's incredible so when looking at the academia attended by students and postdoctoral scholars increased as much as 344 percent I mean that's just showing that you do in the alliance was really opening up the ability to attend this old stuff and fundamentally we still talk about how to own please hold while we talk about the the engagement of knowledge and share the knowledge and open access to knowledge. They had the fact that we were opening up conferences in this way is is great you know it's a it is a pretty fantastic so. Yes I think that's pretty good yeah another point I make and this is one that we kind of had. We've gone back and forth on throughout the throughout the points here approximately 75 percent of attendees at one scientific conference and 96 percent at another conference said that they preferred in person networking and a virtual sessions felt inauthentic and contrived and that's kind of what I was getting at with the NEC I think there were events felt a little contrived to me. However it we're trying and it's it's still unknown how to best do that in a virtual space and I think. Do you know at overtime we might get better at it as people get more comfortable with having their faces shown on camera or you know. I don't know that there's just some things that we still need to figure out but that was one thing that stood out to me I know that's one thing that a lot of people are still missing is that physical interaction with other people. Any other points that you want to make here about the article the the last 1 from me is is the is the climate impact I mean the schedule time impact is is staggering the researchers estimated the just a single attendee of imposing conference in 202019 I wish of the committees on the life of the same environmental footprint is 7000 the jewel conference attendees so the vote that the father you could even on the same on that same climate impact you could attend 7000 the same eventually is doing what he wanted person up to shows that it's you know if you're going to especially feel optional you too will be good for me to want to go for browsing and you know maybe completely bought into what a specific element you desperately desperately because he put you just wanted all of you we just want to keep you know keep on while you're working it's an absolutely brilliant way of of doing that and keep your climbing back down yeah I can say definitively I attended more conferences last year than I have in any other year I've been going to conferences. All right well I think that's gonna wrap it up on the discussion I just wanna thank our patrons this week for selecting our topic and huge thank you to our friends over at university of Texas at Austin for a news story this week you want to follow along we do post the links to all the original articles on our weekly round ups on our blog you can also join us on a slack or discord for more discussion on these stories and more 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 brings you the best in human factors news interviews conference coverage and overall fun conversations into each and every episode we produce but we can't do it without you. The human factors cast network is 100 percent listener supported all the funds are going to running the show come from our listeners our patrons are our priority and we want to ensure we're giving back to you for supporting us pledges start at just $1 per month and include rewards like access to our weekly Q. and a is with the hosts personalized professional reviews and human factors minute patrie on only weekly podcast where the host breakdown unique obscure and interesting human factors topics in just one minute patron rewards are always evolving so stop by Petri slash human factors cast to see what support level may be right for you thank you and remember it depends. Yes huge thank you as always to our patrons especially want to thank our honorary human factors cast out patrons like Michelle Tripp. I I do want to bring up so treasurer says it's okay to talk about pager on this week so I just want to mention that we are to patrons away from being able to be fully self sustainable here a podcast which is kind of cool. You know we do actually pay for the stuff out of pocket and the patriotic stuff actually really helps with that you know we're doing this live on several different platforms that wouldn't be possible without our patrons we have a wonderful website again wouldn't be possible without them this actually goes to hosting the podcast itself on you know the service that we use soundcloud so. There's a lot of things that that patrie on money goes to again we're 2 away from being able to like finally wipe our hands clean and say okay honey I don't have to spend any more money on the podcast due for my wife. I have a meeting. Thank you all right yes patrons like you keep the show running thank you all so much for your continued support we're gonna go ahead and get into this next part of the show came. Right if he. We got one from discord this is part of show research all over the internet to bring you topics the human factors community is talking about if you find any of these answers use will give us a like or whatever it is wherever you're watching to help other people find this content first up today we have one from terra talon do you have any videos are helpful useful electives to take an undergrad so. I actually answered this one in discord but I'm curious to get your thoughts on this berry. Yeah I think there is. Are busy I think I have an idea about what it is that you do you want to go to go and do all the way through he's he's kind of really helpful because if you if you know that your really super keen on on a specific thing that anything you can do to block around that and support it so look at the adjacent. Route so say you know if your going to design what you could do designer ones if you if you want to be doing if you want to use testing all them type things that you go to surround that but then the the flip side is to actually be you it does this very supportive but look at almost the opposites I do as well as do something completely different as well the beauty about the human factor side of things is there is nothing well there's very little that won't come in useful at some point so if you will something just to be able to provide variety in your life you can go and do something. Most completely difference because actually will probably come back and that could be helpful and it will provide you some variety in the calls that you're doing so. It kind of goes back to Canada it depends depends what you want out of life I think personally I think if you focus too much on just one thing. You might. No burn yourself out book seeking itself you do that so trying to find different things to do today the dead 10 Jan St John gently useful bottom but I deferred I think I'll make a more interesting calls that way what are you what what what what was your what was what was your what was the yeah great great so great feedback I think I want to mention one thing to terra Thailand is in the chat so if there's any other clarification this is rare that we actually have and it came from where the person is in the chat with us so if there's any other clarifications let us know so I mentioned that there are in my head there are 3 kind of ways in which you can tackle this right there is the fun route that electives are I think meant to do that they're encouraging you to go and look at hobbies or augment your experience I think that you know for me I did like an archaeology class which was something that was cool. And I actually learned a lot from that class. I I I don't know if I use that stuff in my human factors training but I'm glad I took it it was fun. There's also you know like music classes that you can take that will help stimulate your brain in other ways and this is what I traditionally called the fun hobby route right. There's also the support route which. Is kind of like a way to augment your experience with stuff that will help you in the long run right you said maybe a business class here there maybe. Baby an engineering class to figure out how people write requirements maybe a design class to help understand how that process is done maybe a software development class to understand kind of what's possible with code and what different languages do all these are really good options. All the talk about burn out that's a possibility here but again if you will if you have interest in any of these things you can almost double dip and say yes this is gonna be fun and I learned something for it. Then there is what I I almost don't recommend it's kind of what I did in a lot of ways it's kind of a fast track path it's the quick and easy courses that have easy teachers that is you don't care about the content you know you can just kind of do the quizzes and skate by. And the reason that this is an option is because it will help you focus on some of the other classes that might be tougher so if you know you're going to have to take in your program a very tough class with a very tough professor that has the reputation of being tough this might be an option to offset some of that work that you know you'll have in another class so. All I'm saying here is just be strategic about it I do want to bring up Frank who's been on the show he's actually into scored 2 responding to this. This is a Frank is recommending the full support route especially if those classes can be rolled into a minor so this is kind of augmenting that major with a minor. Frank argues that hobbies can be pursued a less cost than going to college and and I agree I think there's plenty of resources available to folks that they can go and find information for hobbies but they don't have that one on one with a teacher which I do think is really valuable for those so I'm I'm gonna argue for still looking into that approach I think. M. you know that there's a communication class is another thing that I brought up that you can use to augment we do a lot of communicating sitting here on a podcast I'm communicating with you right now I communicate with users to communicate with stakeholders a lot of things that you can learn from that class dictation speech indication that is something that you can also learn. Different languages that's also communication right I I know there's some language requirements and some of these things I'm I'm going on and on and on but this is just to give anyone who else might be in the situation some ideas on how to look at this so I don't know that's that's kind of my thought do you have any other closing thoughts on this one before we move on yeah I guess the 2 that I would almost really push. Is what yours at the communications side of things so much about what we do in human factors is about bringing different groups of people together being able to communicate with them and and including the is a public speaking elements about being able to present not not everybody is confident in public speaking even now I think we talked in the pre show about imposter syndrome and things like that. Finding good techniques to get over them sort of issues is really really helpful the second one is project management so learning a bit about put it don't index culture thing like that but learning about to take the 2 main styles old a Java land what full project management is quite useful because you will come across quite a lot of that in different bits and just knowing the terminology will be will give you a significant jump started your early career I would suggest. The M. 11 last note I did forget to mention that Frank also said that a writing class could be helpful so I I do think that is situational but I do do a lot of writing so I can stand by that all right let's get into this next 1 here this 1 is with most networking events happening online what are some of the best ways to network for those who are looking to begin a career in human factors or you X. this is from brewmaster 21 on the user experience sub reddit they go on to write I've personally found it rather difficult to network through online events what are some ways that a fairly new graduate like me can network with fellow designers. Mary do you have any advice for this person. Well this really hits into what we W. in them in the main topic it's almost like we we we thought about like something repaired Gary. It is quite difficult is because I mean we talked about the nearer a nose conference and being able to just I mean that's one of the first cases the beanie how to discussion for example let so you can go and do it but it's almost I always find it no easier not harder but also no easy that a physical conference because I don't about you but I so struggle quite well if I if I'm in a crowded room I don't know anybody I'm not the best in the world to just go to a random person I'm going hi I'm Barry tell me about why your interest or you know that you know doing the whole just interact with people just off the cuff I'm not I'm not very good at it I have to read the steel myself up to go and do it so. I think the first on duty online know your platform know that you can you know how the how it works and you know so it's already been highlighted likely to Mr a major part of the you're a good economics but about how to use it so makes you not take the time to learn the powerful. But also don't be afraid most people he if you go up to them and virtually all physically and say ani I'm such and such I'm interested in what you're saying or disagree or whatever. People go because then most people have a feeling probably very similar to what you are and you're just go go make some friends though I fully recognize how difficult the hard how hard it is to do that but the snow is going to buy it but you had a. Yeah I I echo that it is it is hard. I think one piece of advice I would have for you if you are looking for to connect with other professionals online there's conferences but then there's also other things you can join communities so we're actually talking with you that you've posted in the community you posted under sub reddit maybe follow up with people on some comments from this thread that you created join other communities Hey we have a discord and the slack that you can join and talk to us about if you're listening to this and find it helpful and want to connect with other people sometimes it's quiet but sometimes it's not sometimes we get great questions and great discussion in their and that is another way that you can communicate with people you have to put yourself out there you have to ask questions but you know I try to at least reach out to people who are. In our community so if you want to connect to let me know we can and you never know what you're gonna find from those connections to I don't have to go and tell you the the value of doing networking I think you get that but you know maybe if you're interested in something I can put you in touch with somebody else and you don't know that until you interact with the community and so there are online communities that you can join I would say you know Facebook groups maybe there's something there discord slack. Read at any social media go go check those out I don't know that's kind of my advice. Any other thoughts yeah I I think just correctly we said there is look at the different platforms I mean I'm I'm seeing just starting to see a bit of a growth and all things like tick tock and stuff check on things like that I'm. If you see something on the on the take took the find amusing and stuff like that C. there is loads of depending on on the whole the algorithm algorithms working for you you get to see a variety of things but I'm seeing a lot my my algorithm is sort of involved to something a lot of space stuff at the moment and just enough to drop a comment in Navan side already like you work or whatever. Any on any platform if you give some feedback chances are the other content creator will reach back out to you and say hi Oldsmobile sedan in the cardinals I hire as well so yeah just just bite the bullet and and and just say hello but also. Go into the going to groups and stuff that around what we do sometimes I get convinced to go into the break business breakfast networking events and as soon as I walk into the my wish I could will come to them because that the it is the one where you're in a room full of everything most people never even heard of human factors of Ole or anything and try to sell out to some small business owner is going to be difficult. I think it was about time to practice and on the back I don't know me that good anyway so I thought that. I can hear Blake in my head saying go to the local things like there's meet ups and there's local chapters of human factors and ergonomics society here in the states there are local things that you can go to and network with them locally. I'm just hearing him in my head not not literally it just used they are done with it so so maybe do that and of course he he probably has a lot of. A lot of recommendations for that okay let's get into this last one here your favorite recommended exercises throughout the design process I'm gonna say this name I swear to you this is what it is by defense **** on the user experience I've read it was last week we're talking about NASA relabel in their their sleeves and now we're talking about okay so I think 100 right hello and good afternoon I have a question for all of you who have gone through the design process and would love some input I am currently in a boot a boot camp student has finished the first phase of my course work as I move ahead I'll be working on some capstone capstone project to build a portfolio. While doing so I'm gonna push myself an expose myself to as many different tactics and methods in the design process. I have a fairly strong list of exercises to use as I work but I wanted to hear from the professionals who have had hands on experience and may be able to shed some insight what are some of your favorite design recommendation recommended exercises throughout the design process berry what what are some of your favorite exercise. I don't know what they're going to kill a favorite today sounds such a almost a. So to professionally thing to say is I use whatever is appropriate to the task that's completely not right I do you have hello yeah well thank you and and and quite right too. But no I think in the grand scheme of things I do you like I mean. I like a good counsel to but I also live. I like a good focus group is my favorite thing I like the ability to get all of your because I'm a great a great believer in sort of the the AJ I'll let that sort of the DISCOM approaching things I like getting both software engineers are you in the room and you'll end users in the ring to break down to break any task that was his piece and I the reason I love it so much is you can sit there and you get to pick the vehicle could you team well correct but you can turn around and say right how do you do such a such a joke and you'll get one musical grandson right well we do this this this this and then if you've got if you set it up right then so the author of the no no no no that's not how we do it we do it like this are you first get the get that nice but a discussion that then you get the software engineers chipped in 7 but don't you do this because this is how we do you know this is how we believe in our heads that this was going to happen if you can generate that sort of discussion then I feel like you've done your job needs and then you can still recall that down and so that that's what that's what that's a so if we can set that appropriate I've it's assaulting the can do really well in a room not suppose states and all that sort of stuff that's filed I am still trying to get the same sort of appreciation online so we can win these all things online through through teams etcetera but you still it's I still struggle to get the same Spock moments. So we've been you know using that phrase tools to try make that work. I do have a friend as well who's she's really good at the whole console to peace and she's known as the queen of queen of console so whenever you need that sort of the old Lorraine nonstop project because because that's that's very much go to which I which I find trust and what unique what what's your what's your what's your piece of choice yeah I have to that when paired together are extremely powerful but I'll I'll talk about the first one because I forgot the name of it before the show had to look it up contextual inquiry. Contextual inquiry is when you go out to the site of somebody who's using your product and you get what it actually looks like to use that thing in the context of their environment and their working environment so if you think about something like maybe I don't know and elektrische in going out to an electrical relay who's trying to operate on electrical relay they're trying to press all these buttons and a very cramped space. You need to know that you need to know that they have gloves on their hands before they interact with the things he can't make it a you know a capacitive touch screen has to be pressure sensitive touchscreen you have to do all these things I'm speaking from experience here that's actually something I've worked on in the past also with the defense industry you know you don't know that they're in this very quiet room with this very locked down computer that they're working across 2 monitors and they need both monitors up at the same time but yours is a web based application that you can't really spread across the 2 monitors and sometimes they're different aspect ratios because they use what's available to them and things break. It's all the stuff that you get in these contextual enquiries and when you pair those with things like usability tests where you have them do those tasks in the environment in which they're operating you can really get some great insight so I'd say those 2 contextual inquiry usability test. All right we have just a couple minutes left we're gonna get into this next section called one more thing needs no introduction. Mark notes one more thing this week what's your one more thing. So I'm I'm done something which I've never really we show it's been selected the moment for me this week and that's what we take on a new employee it's a and in the business I'm not so my daughter I'm so my daughter is now at 17 she loved to go to university instance deficit but she wanted. From a job to do to make some money and all it's also but also she's gone she's ready to arsenal so so so I was really keen to work out how we can give no we do a lot of design work Hey could we stressful she does into doing more digital design so see that is a a future. That's where the future use of art to many ways and also what will we do but also is quite nice a middle seat we we were in the business be my wife anyway so we do or do you have the idea of family working but it's just a. It feels like a a sells a seminal moments where we've you know that my daughter is old enough to employee she's now joined what is now truly a family business so that's been that's been quite a moment as I printed out her ID card today and everything it was a it was a it was it was a thing big moment yeah. So I think you you said earlier that you that you be part of the family business with the your parents are yeah I think so we have ice you get value I think was was very useful to dissociate from the outside stellar don't mess up. Well family businesses are always tricky that's what it's built relationships isn't it yeah it really is different hats yeah we we employee family but also close friends as well which is possible so we should you should do either but it's it's worth 10 years now it's it's it's okay yes but the main thing is I'm trying to learn a new language which follow somebody as of by aging is is I never thought I would use easy anyway and so but now we move to Wales and so we've been here for years and I think I should make the effort so I'm starting all but one of these apps and I'm starting to learn the very basics all literally 2 days ago stocks led the very basics of the language and already I'm struggling. Well done but we'll get the you'll get there. For me last week I talked about mental health go go get yourself some help this week I'm gonna talk about physical health so I'm actually seeing a chiropractor for the first time in my life I've got the whole X. ray thing and my neck is supposed to be straight and it's actually it's mostly curved and actually straight. And so I'm going 3 times a week for the next couple months to get everything all straightened out and physical therapy and yeah that's my spine is **** so I cannot say. That's not bad. But this year you're going to be amazing I hope so focusing on mental health and physical health yeah 20 years the year right. All right well that's gonna be it for today everyone if you liked this episode enjoy some of the conference going conversation we invite you to check out our most recent HFE as presidential town hall where we actually talk to them about HM yes and the conference itself however you're listening to what you think of a story this week for more in depth discussion always join us on slack or discord you can visit our official website sign up for our newsletter stay up to date with all the latest in the factors do you like what you hear on support the show there's a couple things you can do one leave us a review wherever you're watching that's free for you to do and it really helps us out to tell your friends about us word of mouth is how we grow and 3 consider supporting us on Patreon like I said we're 2 away from being self sustainable as always links to all of our socials and a website in the description of this episode I think Mister berry Kirby for being on the show today we're gonna listeners going thank you if they want to talk about becoming a family member get hired by. That might cause a divorce but Switzer have by the disco K. O. you can buy 2020 program is boxed out the 12 the TQ affects both classy confines of 12 publicly focused on call you can always adopt as for me I've been your host Nick Rome you could buy me streaming on twitch sometimes when I feel like it for mental health reasons and for us and across social media at Nick _ Rome thanks again for tuning into human factors cast until next time. It is ahead.

Barry Kirby Profile Photo

Barry Kirby

Managing Director

A human factors practitioner, based in Wales, UK. MD of K Sharp, Fellow of the CIEHF and a bit of a gadget geek.