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June 10, 2022

E247 - TRB's New Tool for Airport Construction Safety and Phasing Plans

This week on the show, we talk about the Transportation Research Board’s new Construction Safety and Phasing Plans tool. We also answer some questions from the community about UX Research being recession proof, how much internships add to your ability to qualify for full-time roles, and discuss the questions you should be asking Product Managers before starting research projects.

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Recorded live on June 9th, 2022, hosted by Nick Roome & Barry Kirby.

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Welcome to Human Factors Cast, your weekly podcast for human factors, psychology and design.



Hey, it's episode 247. I should have just done Batman. Batman, just stop. All right, we'll start with Batman. It's episode 247. We're recording this episode live. No, I'm not going to do that. Anyway. It's June 9, 2022. This is Human Factor's Cast. I'm a little sick. I'm your host, Nick Roome. I'm joined today by Mr. Barry Kirby. That's a whole Batman joke. I'm sick, so I'm trying to read it as. So we do have a great show for you tonight. We're going to be talking about the Transportation Research Board's new construction, safety, and phasing plans, too, which is a lot cooler than you might actually think. And later, we're going to talk about some questions from the community about UX research being recession proof. Maybe how much internships add to your ability to qualify for full time roles. And we'll discuss the questions you should be asking project managers before starting research projects. But first, we're back, baby. Woo. Hey, normally we like to jump straight into the news because we know that's why you're here. But we have a lot of really important updates for June. We hope you'll listen to these and don't skip forward. I said don't skip forward. It's important. So, hey, June is Pride Month. For anyone who's unaware, Pride Month is we're celebrating queerness over here at Humanfactors Cast. And we're kind of launching a Pride campaign, if you will. So throughout the month, we're going to be celebrating the LGBTQIAP plus community by producing content focused around the intersection of these marginalized communities and human factors, HCI and UX. So things we're going to be doing are the deep dives. That is something that we do for our patrons. But these will be free to everybody. We want these resources to be widely available. We think it's incredibly important to have these types of resources available. We're going to be putting out some deep dives. Maybe we'll have some written content, again, focusing on this intersection between human factors and these marginalized communities will also kind of be helping out with general awareness of maybe some of the issues that are being experienced when it comes to human factors HCI. Again from the perspective of these communities, and last but not least, we're doing a fundraiser. So we are just flat out donating 30% of our June Patreon proceeds to the Trevor Project. If you're unfamiliar with the Trevor Project, it's an American nonprofit kind of founded in 1998. It really focuses on suicide prevention efforts among these communities. And really they provide these sort of resources and sort of a confidential lifeline for people to talk to. I think it's incredibly important. We had our members of our lab select this charity, and beyond that, we have changed our logo. I don't know if you've seen our new logo. I love it. It's all colorful. And with that new logo, we have Merch and contrary to what's I guess corporate standard is, we're not going to take that profit. We're taking 100% of the profits or proceeds, I should say. And we're donating that to the Trevor Project as well. So go to our merch store, buy our Pride merch. It's all going forward to Trevor Project. And again, if you join up with us on Patreon this month, 30% of that will be kicked back to Trevor Project. I do want to say first up this week, we do have our Human Factors minute that dropped on Tuesday. You probably see it in your feed. It's on sort of the lack of resources on the intersection of these two things, right, the LGBTQIAP plus community and Human Factors. There's a lack of resources out there for us. So go listen to what we found and what we did not find. So it was actually guest read by one of our lab members, Rashad. So thank you for doing that. And it's in your feeds here. You'll get the Human Factors minutes here, as well as on the Human Factors Minute feed as well, if you're subscribed to that. That's all I have for Pride stuff. Barry, you've been busy over at twelve or two too. What's going on over there? We've actually produced content. After not producing stuff for quite a few weeks, I actually pulled my finger out. We've had some two really, really good episodes drop. Firstly, the most recent one is with Chris Reed. And those of you who are familiar with HFPS will know that he's the current President of HFPS. He's also a Boeing technical fellow within the Environment and Health and Safety Organization at Boeing. And in the interview, he sort of gave me a real insight into how he got into Ergonomics and his backstory is of how got in there just had me metaphorically drooling the job opportunities or the things that inspired him was just fantastic to hear. He seemed to have managed to have picked up all the jobs that I wanted to do and he did them really early in his career, which was just fantastic. It was also really cool from my own perspective. I took the opportunity to pick his brain about because he's been President and his term ends in, I think it's October time. And so I took the opportunity to sort of pick his brain about when I become President of CHF next year. What could I do? What could I learn from him about how I could do my bit better? So that was great. But the other bit, which was Fab because obviously we've been away for a couple of weeks. The first week that we were away on this platform, we had the coverage of EHF 2022. And on twelve two, we also had me interviewing some of the attendees as well. That whole coordination between us, between the two channels, showing different content from both sides about what it was like to organize and how people found it. What was the good content? What were the takeaways? I think this was entirely fantastic week. So I encourage everybody to go back and listen to both of them episodes and see bust them in tandem. So, yeah, it's been quite busy week and we've got a few cool interviews coming up as well. So I've actually got a full schedule of recording lined up. So looking forward to the next few weeks. It's amazing what happens when you don't have me saying, hey, every Thursday you need to be here. But one thing I'll add to that, EHF coverage. Barry was kind enough to donate to our Patreon the full interviews with everybody that he talked to on his end. He kind of snipped them up for his own episode. And then we did a micro highlight reel of them on this episode over here. And those full interviews in their entirety are posted up on our Patreon for our Patreon members. All right. That's a lot of updates. Thank you for sticking with us. We're going to get to the news. Like I said, we normally like to do this up top, but here it is.



Yeah. Human Factors news. This is part of the show where we talk about the latest and greatest coming out of the field. Perry, what is the new story this week? So the story this week is looking at construction, safety and phasing plans. Arcp Web Resource Eleven So the Transport Research Board in the US has recently published a web tool to assist with the construction, safety and zoning plans for airports. The Airport Cooperative Research Program, or ACRP. Web Resource Eleven provides airport personnel, consulting engineers, designers and contractors with a detailed process to improve the development and implementation management of construction, safety and facing plans, or Cspps and safety Plan compliance documents. Cds for me to say for airport construction projects. When you go into this tool, the CSPP process is broken into four main phases, which is shown pictorially on the page. The success of each of these four phases is built upon a foundation centered on a culture of safety and collaboration. Each phase contains a process diagram related to that phase of the CSPP process, a description of each task step within the phase, a list of best practices and lessons learned applicable to the phase, and any tools, templates, or training materials that have been created to aid in the execution of that phase. So when you go on it, you get started by clicking on any of the four phases. The Safety Collaboration Foundation So all the Safety and Collaboration Foundation to learn more about the aspect of the CSPP process, you can click on the process tab at the top of the page. You'll be taken to a page describing each phase of the Csvp process, and the page also includes a short video describing how the whole thing works. The contents of the web resource was developed based on research completed as part of the ASAP Project 803, which was titled Construction Safety and Facing Plans. The research effort included close coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration of the FDA, airport consulting engineers, designers, and contractors to develop those research findings. The content of the web is also are not intended to contradict or supersede any regulatory guidance regarding CSPP, Spcds, or Construction Safety issued construction Safety issued by the FAA. The web resource is meant to complement the FAA's existing regulatory guidance as of this case November 2020, and it's meant to aid airports in the development, implementation, and management of these Cspps and Spcds effectively under the existing regulatory guidance. The point here is the fee updates their official guidance of materials from time to time. As a result, the users of this web resource are also then encouraged to check the FAA website to identify where the FAA guidance materials may have changed. So that was a long discussion there, Nick, around this new resource. But fundamentally, do you think this is a good thing? An exciting thing. Wow, that was almost as dry as my throat. So let's talk about this. So just in broad terms, this is a cool tool that allows for these processes to communicate best practices, lessons learned for these processes by which government standards for airports and FAA standards, all that stuff. Basically, you're playing ball with all that. So long story short, there's a lot of government regulation that needs to happen, especially when it comes to airports. And this Transportation Research Board has built a tool that will help with communicating some of the best practices for folks doing these things. Now, this is in itself a little dry. I picked this over a month ago. I said, yeah, we could talk about this pile, but I forgot about it. Was reminded earlier this week when I put out the poll for our listeners to pick and I thought, wow, yes, this is awesome. I think the thing for me about this that was so intriguing is just the way that they sort of document the information and provide it in sort of the step by step process that allows for a collaborative experience. It's lessons learned. Like the blurb here says, from a variety of different people, consulting engineers, designers, contractors, airport personnel, all of them coming together to sort of bring these lessons learned and make sure that no one suffers from those mistakes of the past as these construction updates are happening. So that's my initial thoughts. Barry, what about you? What's going on with you? If we were being honest about this? When I first read the story, as we sort of said, even just trying to read through it all, and I've actually been through the story and reject some of it to try and make it sound a bit more interesting, it took me a long time to get into it. I was very much of like, I don't get this. I couldn't get past the words, but they've got a really cool video on the site. And so I'd encourage anybody who follows the link to go and read the article, actually watch the video of it, because that's where they take you through what it does. And then you go and have a play with the tool itself. And really, when you get into it, the real story, it's around collaboration, it's around sharing of common data sets, common tools, and the common way of working. So you've got all these different stakeholders, you've got contractors, you've got designers, et cetera, et cetera. And one of the most common things that we have problems with when you're working on large projects is people working to what they perceive might be the common process. But actually they're all doing their own processes, and somebody's just hoping that they're all coordinating them together with this. At least you've got a common resource where everybody comes together and you say, we're all working off the same page, we're all using the same process, the same standards, et cetera, et cetera. So that, I think, is really cool. I do have a bit of a problem, which is why I included it in the blurb with almost this get out of jail free clause at the end where it says must check with the FAA in case of changes and things like that. If you're going to produce a tool like this, part of the responsibility, in my mind, part of the responsibility of you doing that is you have to make sure it's up to date. If I was using this, I wouldn't want to sit there and then go and go back and then check do all the work and then go. I better go and check all the sources to make sure they're all relevant. That should be part of the services. It's hard to do that with research, but it's kind of just a ball flag. But what I really do like is the way that it steps you through the activities in a graphical way. I'm a pictures guy. When you can go and drill into I want to be this part of the process, you click on it and gives you the appropriate bit. That's cool. So, yeah, it felt like a dry topic when we started, but when you get stuck into it and using it, I think not only it must be useful for the people using it. It's not my area of expertise, but I like the way that they've done it. I like the way that they've developed that tool. Yeah. I think the first thing I'd like to do is kind of almost an audio only demo, so to speak, of what this is. So you said this tool is very visual, and that's true. We're going to talk through this as if this is a podcast. So if you're listening to this later, you're welcome. So it's visual, but really, it's just this safety construction, safety and phasing planning process really is kind of broken down into four steps. Four phases, if you will. Right. There's the precspp, which is what is that? Construction, safety and planning phase, activities phase. So PREPP activities phase. Then there's the initial CSPP development phase, and then there's sort of a CSPP implementation and then CSPP management. So you have the prestuff, the development, the implementation, and the management afterwards. And across all of it is you have this sort of safety and collaboration umbrella, if you will. Right. So those are the four phases. Now, if you were to click on any one of those on this web tool, you would be brought to a sub page of the tool that gives you a graphical representation of what happens in that phase. Right. So if you go to the pre activities, then you would get a detailed diagram of what's actually going on in that step, what tasks you're having, what checkpoints you have, sort of any major milestones along the way. And that's at the top. So it kind of gets everybody on the same page, level sets everybody and says, here you go, this is what is going to happen here. If you were to click on that graphic, it gives you even more detail about what the tasks are. In the pre activities phase, we're looking at sort of task, one, pre project, planning and coordination. If you click on this graphic, it actually gives you a lot more detail about that, about what that actually means. And then below that graphic, I think is a really great way to organize things as it has tools. Right at the top, it says, here you go, here's tools, templates, everything that we found that we know other people use that's going to be useful to you in your effort to go through this process. Here's all the tools up top. And then right below that, best practices, lesson learned. You have kind of the most pertinent information right? Here you have sort of the process, the tools, and here's the best practices and lessons learned. And I think this in a lot of ways is just a really simple way to look at sort of these processes that might be industry standard in a lot of ways, but maybe not codified. Right. Think about from UX perspective or human factors research. You have sort of this discovery phase, the data gathering phase, design phase, sort of analysis phase, and then an iteration phase, and then development phase. Think about that. Right. And then what if we had a tool for us in development, you might have a bunch of development tools at top. And here's some best practices about how to integrate for developers with human factors practitioners or UX people. Right. It would be a good thing for them to click on. I'm in the development phase, I'm going to click on this. And here's the tools that I could use. And here's how I interact with these people. And so I think that whole process could be lifted from this tool that we're talking about here, the construction, safety and planning phases and really brought to other domains. Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, I think you could. I mean, what is really neat is like say is way pulls together all the different bits that you want to use. However, I would also suggest that they do need to get a UX designer or UI designer on board because this is just almost so good that it kind of gets let down right at the last moment. So you mentioned that if you click on the diagram, it brings you a whole wealth of information. And so what it does just to try and paint the picture, you've got the nice pretty diagram which does label things out nicely for nice little diagrams and the right sort of shape boxes to pick. You click on the diagram that just brings you up a massive web box and just loads and loads of text. I'm a graphical person, MYS and just lays over for some really simple changes to make this really good. I would have each one of them as its own unit. As I click on each box, then you pop up another little diagram or maybe just a small bit of almost like a tool tip type affair to make that work. It's like these tools that seems quite typical. It's a really good idea. It's really neat and kind of just when it could be great falls over that. So bit of advice, free usability review right there for the project. If they did that, I think, would they go from great to really great? But it's cool though. Like I say, we do human factors, integration processes that can be quite a complex thing with different tools to be doing different things. To my head, it's something I'm doing a lot of at the moment and having an approach like this could make everybody's life just that little bit easier. Yes, I worked with folks that worked on like an HSI tool a long time ago that was kind of similar to this. And I think the main takeaway here that I'm getting from this is this is going to be awesome for this domain, but really let's open this thing up and apply it to other domains. Because the more we have these collaborative efforts around, sort of making sure that that domain knowledge is captured, transferred and easily accessible for others within the domain, then it's going to pay dividends down the road. Right. You no longer have to pick and search, go and find and search for all these different aspects. They're just kind of right there, which is the beauty of the tool. And yes, there's some things that could be updated and this is a V one. But yeah, you're right. I think there's a lot of great resources here. And I just think of how powerful this could be in other types of communities. Right? Is it worth doing? We've started to do the breakdown, but if we took this as sort of that generic form of this idea of having the processes put online or available in this way, if we break that down through our human factors views, then we can actually try and pick out some of them other people could take and put into their own platforms. So it's kind of thing like around the personnel area where what would this do for us? For me, I think I kind of said it in the blurb, which was one of the thing that breaks down quite a lot is this bit where you might have software engineers developing the software standardizers, maybe doing human practice integration to our human practice integration standard and other all the other disciplines. If we've got this one central resource, there can be no excuses for people not knowing the process that you're following what you're meant to be doing and when you're supposed to be doing it. So if you're using the same material, you should everybody should be on the same page, and therefore any of them sort of blockers around miscommunication should in theory be removed. Do you think that's the case? Do you think that's a fair assumption to make? But Barry, what if it updates? What if the guidance updates? Well, yeah, as you said earlier, that's kind of my problem with it. Well, I mean, look, here's the thing. This was done as a research experiment, research exercise and created with funds. I'm thinking what if you took the open source approach, what if you had almost a Wikipedia type Editors, moderators, admins type of thing where you have influential people in that community or that domain that you're building the tool for moderate this thing? And then if the guidance ever were to change, like in this example, the FAA, if they came out with new guidelines, you can say, hey, these are current for and slap it on as a banner on every single page and say, look like we're still updating this. This has not been vetted. It's not been sort of cleared, if you will. So take everything with a grain of salt and kind of just puts you in that weird headspace as everyone's trying to figure out these new guidelines and then everyone can kind of contribute together. I think that really would get more at that collaborative effort as well, because then you'd have places where various different types of users might be able to come forward. Right. Let's say the example that's a little bit more familiar to home. Let's say you have UX researchers, designers, PMS, and developers. So you have sort of a traditional software development team. So let's look at it from that perspective. You might have developers who come in and say, hey, I was talking with my UX researcher about X, Y and Z, and we had a really great breakthrough here, almost like a forum. But then have that thing come forward as a best practice. I don't know. There's got to be a way to let different roles submit things that go into different places. I don't know. I think this is really cool. I'm thinking about how we can make this better, what I would be doing with the FBA stuff, for example, or anybody who's producing standards they generally do on a website that has an RSS feed. And so then I would take the RSS feed from here and either having some sort of live update, or if you can do the coding, do the comparison between the current content and the current RSS feed. And if there's a change, then it's either as simple as like, say, if it's almost a Wiki type approach, flagging it. This is now out of date and needs an update. It pushes somebody to do that, or even just some more. There could be some clever direct merging there going on, which works right to the point that the authority changes the structure of what they're doing or something like that. But even just a simple flag to say the latest version that this is codified to is this, there is a new version out. We need to do the update that has value. Because when I start looking at this from the system safety perspective, yes. If you do say there's the element of miscommunication, but it's also because of that knowledge issue, not because that data issue. It's also a single point of failure that if everybody commonly uses their own data, everybody will fail spectacularly. But as you say, if you've got some different eyes on this, if everybody's looking at the same data, there's a greater chance that people spot the error. So, yeah, I think there's definitely something around that. Around that community aspect. Yeah. The big problem with the community approach is like how do you make sure or enforce that the community is actually using it? Right. From our perspective. Ux Hebrew factors. There's a lot of people there. And how do you make sure that those people are using it for the things that they're working on? I don't know. Let's pick a couple more fun pieces as this tool applies to the traditional human factors stuff, and then maybe we'll move on. For me, I think we talked a lot about the collaborative effort, and I do want to kind of push forward on that as well. Right. When you think about sort of the organizational social implications, unless this is being developed in tandem or with the blessing of the guidance that is coming out. Right. Like if it was being blessed by the FAA, which I think in this case it is because it's TRB all government. Right. For industry things, it's going to be a little bit more hard to do something or to implement something or enforce something. I should say that is going to be a tool like this. When you have sort of the government standards, when you have sort of a need to follow those standards, it's going to be easier, especially if it's coming from the source itself. And I think that's kind of a key note that I want to sort of bring forward is that this works in cases where it's mandated and maybe falls flat in others. Yeah. And I guess my final point on this would be following on from that. This seems to be quite good because this seems to be a fully mandated end to end process. One of the things that we can do quite a lot in Human Factors and particularly HFI world is tailoring tailoring a process to suit the scale and development of what it is that you're trying to do. You don't necessarily want to do full process for a small version of if you're doing, like, say, a really small airport, you might do something probably less than what you'd want a super airport type thing. When you have a process laid out from this, people sometimes use it too much as a crutch and forget that some processes are tailorable and you actually get efficiencies if you do tailor things appropriately, it's too easy to fall into must do 1.1 .3 because it says 1.1 .3 must be done. But sometimes you don't necessarily need to do that, as long as you acknowledge that upfront. So that's sort of I guess a small note of caution is something that we do quite a lot of. Yeah. I don't want to stretch out this discussion too much longer. One, my throat is hurting. And two, we got some great questions I want to make sure we have some time to get to. But one last note, Barry. Our numbers tend to rise quite significantly when we talk about sexy topics or like risque topics. So I'm expecting a lot of downloads for this construction, safety and Phasing plans episode. It's going to be great. Thank you to our patrons and all of our Twitter followers this week for selecting our topic. And thank you to our friends over at the Transportation Research Board for a new story this week. If you want to follow along, we do post the links to the original articles on our weekly roundups and our blog. You can also join us on our discord for more discussion on these stories. We're going to take a quick break, and then 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 fund conversations into each and every episode we produce. But we can't do it without you. The Human Factors Cast network is 100% listeners supported. All the funds that go into 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 one dollars per month and include rewards like access to our weekly Q and A's with the hosts, personalized professional reviews, and Human Factors Minute, a Patreon only weekly podcast where the host breakdown unique, obscure and interesting Human Factors topics in just 1 minute Patreon. Rewards are always evolving. So stop by Humanfactors cast to see what support level may be right for you. Thank you. And remember, it depends. Yes, Patreon, we especially want to thank our Human Factors honorary Human Factors Cast staff patron Michelle Tripp. Patrons like you keep the show running. Seriously. We use those funds to support the lab and everything like that. There is one tier that we don't normally talk about, and that is the show sponsor. Now we do our show sponsor through Patreon. We historically haven't had one, and we have wanted to keep the show sort of sponsor free. And really, if it makes sense, we'll do a sponsor type of thing. I do want to talk about it, though, especially this month as we're doing this whole Pride campaign. This will be a great month for a sponsor to jump on because in this tier, we'll read sort of 150 words of their choice every week in place of that Patreon commercial that you just heard. So if you want to reach thousands of Human Factors practitioners, that's a way to do it. There's also a permanent link on our website that our sponsors get. I say all this because if you're listening and you know of a company that might be looking for Human factors engineers for their company and want to reach others, this might be a good thing to bring up or I don't know, it does help the show, right? We're not begging for money here. In fact, like I said, we're giving away 30% of our Patreon proceeds this month to the Trevor Project. It's just a good month to do it. And it's something that we don't often talk about. Sponsorship is an opportunity. So if you're looking for that, that might be something to consider. I don't know. Barry, any words on sponsorship? How's K sharp looking? Do you have the budget for that? I'll go and talk to the boss. This month especially, we were having that conversation in the pre show about a lot of companies like us are looking at the moment to say, what can we do that is not just rinse in the Pride logo. What can we do? Something that is actually going to make a difference is actually meaningful, and something like this would make an awful lot of sense. So if you're out there thinking that this is a good idea, then you need to jump on it, because if you don't, I'm going to. Oh, there you go. Wow. Do we just get a commitment on the show?



Don't tease me with a good time, Barry. Oh, man. All right. Well, why don't we go ahead and switch gears and get into this next part of the show we like to call



that's right. It came from this is the part of the show where we search all over the Internet to bring you topics that the community is talking about. We only pick good stuff always. We only pick good questions. Anything is fair game as long as it's useful to somebody. I don't know if you find these answers useful, though. Give us a like or follow or whatever it is. I don't know whatever platform you're listening or watching on. Just let us know that you like this stuff to help other people find it. The algorithms, algorithms. All right. We got three tonight. The first one here is by Shan Hart on the UX Research subreddit they say is UX research recession proof. They go on to write, I recently transitioned into a UX research role, but if a recession hits and our team is impacted, I'll definitely be the first one on the chopping block. So I'm wondering how recession proof the UX field is or by extension human factors. Right. So, Barry, in your opinion, is the UX field or human factors field recession proof? I'd love to say yes, because everybody should be doing human factors and it should be the core and underpinning everything that we do. But I think my fear is no. I think the overall field. So you've got some sectors that will always be there and always be needed, things like defense, things like health, the safety critical elements, certainly from a human practice perspective, that probably won't go away. But maybe some of the other pieces where there are certain elements that I think that people find easy to drop off programs. And unless you've got a true understanding of the value of these sort of things, then maybe they get I'd love to say yes, but my fear is sector dependent. I don't know. I hope it is because I don't want to go looking for another job anytime soon. It depends. Yeah. I mean, for me, it's like in some ways, yes. And really, you kind of touched on it. That's largely whether or not the ROI is understood by the organization that is making the cuts. Right. I think if the value is known of UX of Human Factors, what it brings to the table, they are less likely to go. But in a lot of cases, I have seen UX or human factors be one of the first things to go. I'm going to throw the pins as well because it really will be kind of dependent on what the company culture is and how they value those roles. And really, it comes back to you, too, in these roles. How do you communicate that, Roy? How are you showing the things that you're doing are making impactful differences, and that can be scary if you're not doing that. All right. Any other last thoughts on that one? Yes, I think I had to put a real context. I have been in the situation where I got maybe done and I was in an HF role. They said they didn't need it anymore. It went the next day I got a phone call from the same company saying, oh, by the way, we just realized nobody else can do what you do. Can you finish all the project you're working on? But that's just weird. So sometimes a particular large company, people will just it's almost impersonal. People will cut things. But I think, as I've never been out of work for the past 20 years that I've been in the industry, I think the overall industry is probably quite proof. But your dream job might not be I think it's possibly a more finesse way of putting it. Yeah. And I mean, if you ever find yourself in the situation that Barry did, consider yourself lucky because you can come back and say, yes, I'm absolutely willing to help. My rate is now four times what you were paying me yesterday. Oh, did you do that? I didn't do anything on the money, but I did turn around. And this was 2018 years ago, something like that. But anyway, I did turn around and say, I'm going to work from home. I'm going to work these days. I want to do these meetings. Ring me if you need me. I'll come in if you need to, but I'm not coming in otherwise, blah, blah, blah, blah. And yeah, they did try and push back on that. And I was like, what are you going to do, fire me or what? You kind of already been there. I got an extra, I think, three months work out with them, which meant also because I also didn't know, by the way, and if I get job interviews or anything like that, I'm going to do them. So it does sort of put you in a position of power for them last. That's nice. Yeah, it is nice. Call me freckles in the comments here is doing that with their former employer or potentially future employer as well. Thank you for that comment. Let's go into this next one here. This one is by JWCC on the user experience. How much would an internship add to my value in qualifying for full time roles and how many should I do before applying? They go on to write. I am currently interning as a UX designer and a multinational firm, but I'm scared of the future with all these boot camps and obnoxious YouTubers and ticktocks. Oh, shit. Oh, no, we don't glamorize boot camps. It would be an even more saturated field. I genuinely love what I'm doing, but finding a full time job is becoming a worry for me since I graduated from University. Barry, what do you look for in candidates? And really, how many internships do they typically have under their belt? What's important? So I'm going to try and not steal your answer. In fact, that I look for people, I look for good attitude. So for me as an employee, the value of the internship is not the fact that you've done them. So it's about you've had an opportunity to learn how business runs and the difference between business and being in education can be a massive culture shock to some people. And just knowing the fact that sometimes it's not like having an assignment to hand in, there is an expectation of self motivation. There's an expectation of wanting to do stuff to a high quality, not to get a good grade, but just to get it out the door about being able to be that self motivated person that sold stuff out for yourself and knowing that if you're going to go on a coffee break, then that's absolutely fine. That's all good. But you are expected to sit back down the desk as well timekeeping. Even if you're flexible working, you still expected to be contactable the stuff that once you've been in this industry for a bit, you sort of take for granted that's what the value for me about the internship is. You get to learn that sort of stuff whilst you're going through either your education piece or post education, whatever. And then it's the value of what you've got out of that. So have you learned to be a good communicator, to be a good worker, a good team worker for the good of the project, not just for the good of your own grades, as it were, but fundamentally, it's about having the ability to show off that good attitude. What do you think? Yeah. No, I think all that is spot on. I think really when you're looking at the business experience is great. Not all internships have that. Sometimes you're working kind of in a sub sect of a company. Sometimes it's weird. And so the things that I am looking at here is not necessarily number. When I'm looking at candidates, I'm not looking at the number of internships that you've had. And really, I'm not even looking at whether or not you've had an internship. I'm looking at your experience and the quality of individual experience. I'm just going to leave it at experience. Right. I initially in my notes here, had internships, but this goes just for experience as well. So like, if you work in a lab or if you work in academia or anything like that, the value or I guess the quality of what you learned there and are taking forward with you is what I'm looking at. And I think, Barry, you hit the nail on the head. The business experience is a big part of that. How well are you going to integrate with a team that's already established? But ultimately you could have you know, we talk about innovation all the time on the show and how it's just applying something, you know, from one domain to another. And if you can do that, if you can show me that you have some really cool ideas coming out of this internship or experience that you have right, then I think that's where I'm at. It's like bring that to the table because that's what I'm interested. I don't care about the number, I care about the quality. So I don't know if you're between a couple of different options of internships. This might be another question that you ask if you're fortunate enough to get several different offers. It's like, which one of the ones that you think are going to be the most fruitful in terms of, I would almost say breadth of experience at that point. Not necessarily depth, because you get the depth later and the breadth will really come in handy for being able to, one, identify what you want to do, and two, being able to communicate a wider variety of things to prospective employers. That's my two cent. Any other closing thoughts on that one? I guess there's just one thing that with what you said, I have a current irritation at the moment that a lot of employers are out there asking for graduates to recent leavers from academia to come and join companies, but also to have a breath of experience. And I think it's incumbent on other employees to recognize that when you're doing your learning piece, you're doing your learning piece. You don't come out with fully polished experience. And the ones that do generally, what have they given up in order to do all of that to come to you with a bit of a site? At the moment, I think we expect too much out of from an experience perspective, out of recent academia levers. Yeah, I will second that. That's a whole separate rabbit hole slash questions we can get into. All right, let's get into this last one here. What Questions to ask PMS before starting Research Project this is by Klutze Platypus 42. Eight on the User Experience subreddit. Ux Research subreddit. Sorry. Hey guys. I received my first ever project in UX Research. I'm really excited and want to do well. My first task would be to understand the project requirements and then interact with the stakeholders and PM to learn about the business goals, target users, et cetera. I like to know what kind of questions I need to ask the PMS. Of course, there are some things that I know, but how do I frame the right questions to understand how I move forward? Barry, what type of questions do you typically ask the PMS on your projects? Lots of cheaper questions, and there's two reasons behind that. One is particularly if I'm working in a team and I'm leading the team, especially, I want to show to other people that I've got no problem with asking stupid questions because it's a cliche. But the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. We generally go into projects not knowing anything or anywhere near as much depth as the stakeholders you're working with, the users you're working with. I like to work out who my stakeholders are. Really, what's the point of the project? What is it you're trying to get to? But not the point that they think it is. But actually what is it you're really trying to achieve? Almost get into that one step beyond what are you trying to achieve as opposed to what it is you're trying to do? Who's it for? Sometimes you can be doing. I got into a fairly interesting situation within the past twelve months where I was designing or helping manager a design that I thought was going to be for clients and customers. And it wasn't towards the end that we realized actually it's not. It's for to give a potential future funder confidence that this app could do great things. Well, that changed the entire perspective of what we were doing and it's because we didn't really truly understand who was the product for and why you're doing it. And again, it sounds like question because somebody come in here, we've got requirements, we've got pages of requirements, we've got books of requirements or not depending on what you're doing. But actually then get some need to put it into a simple phrase or a simple sentence, a simple paragraph. What is it you're trying to do? And then he asks stupid questions. Just get people to clarify. Do you know the whole who, what, why, when, where, approach? Again, it's a simple framework, but actually it can be quite powerful if you use it consistently. But yeah, just ask questions, dig into it. It's not really that helpful to the way that they've asked it because I don't think there is a true framework out there. There's no be all and end all. It's about how you interact with the stakeholders, with the project manager, because some stuff they'll give over winningly and then you dissect some of that stuff or they might just turn around and say well, you just get on with it and then you start from scratch and digging through granite. What about unique? How do you do it from the beginning? Same. Alright, we're getting to the next part of kidding. So yes, absolutely. Asked those stupid questions. I think I want to spend a little bit more time on the types of stupid questions that I ask the who, what, when, where, why is really important. And I think the first thing that I like to start with is the context, why are we doing this? Why are we doing the thing that we're doing the why? And then I kind of go into the what, what are the business goals? Why are we doing this? To fulfill what business goals? And then really from there it's like once I sort of understand the context behind something business goals as to why we're doing that thing, then I get into sort of what is our objective. What do you, as a PM, want out of this research? Because that is really critically important. If the PM doesn't get something that they need, then you're not going to have a successful research project. You're largely going to give them something that is unusable to them. And so having a conversation with them about what is the final product that they need? Do they need a spreadsheet of something? Do they need a PowerPoint presentation detailing use cases of something? Do they need a detailed competitive analysis of something? Be very clear what they need at the end of all this. So that way they can move on or update requirements or anything like that? Do they need updated designs that in a lot of cases is true? They do. And that is your responsibility to work with, design and do all that. So really understanding the context of everything. And then the other types of questions that I like to ask is what exists out there today that you can send my way, this could be like Jira tickets. This could be like community questions from existing users that they have in a backlog somewhere and asking all these questions and putting it all on the table and saying, okay, here's everything that we have. Well, one that generates leads for users. If you say, hey, has anyone mentioned this to you? Yeah, I had a guy from this company. Why don't we reach out to him for comment? That's like an immediate in. And so starting to get everything in one place and consolidate everything that you know about a project is going to really go a long way, especially when you consider sort of how to approach a research project that will change over time. Other questions, what users are this for? Who is this for? Who do we want to talk to? Because there are some things that you're developing for somebody that might actually want to include talking to somebody else in there. Right. Do you include a decision maker when it's actually somebody who's using the product? Well, the decision maker is going to decide whether or not that gets enabled. So, yeah, let's talk to them. So these are the types of questions, and there's a lot of them. I would highly recommend that you sort of come up with some sort of framework for asking all these questions in a consistent way and documenting the answers. So that way you know where to find those answers as you go through and develop your research. That's a lot to say, Barry. I asked the same types of questions, but yeah, there's a million ways to do it. Just do what's right for you. But ask everything, everything. Get as much detail as you can. Everything in the kitchen sink, even if you don't think it's necessary, because it probably is. All right. Now let's get to the part of the show where we say one more thing, Barry. What is your One More Thing this week. So this week I picked up a new hobby. Wow. Yeah. And it's roasting my own coffee. Wow. I know. I had no idea, really, that you could do it so easily from home, because obviously, I'm quite a fan of filter coffee, and, well, almost any type of coffee really bring on the caffeine Thursday nights, of course. Well, yeah. So I started going into looking and said, well, how hard could this be? Because obviously, getting hold of the actual coffee beans themselves is kind of difficult in the UK because we don't have the climate to make it work. But if you could get hold of them, is roasting your own coffee a thing? Could that work? And I've learned all sorts of YouTube is so much my friend at the moment. So I'm learning all about roasting coffee. So I've now roasted my own coffee at home. So I've had my beans and I've grounded and everything, and I had a friend around for coffee this afternoon with my own roasted coffee. He said, very complimentary. That's not bad. I was like, well, it was a weird one when I sort of picked up my first cup of coffee with it, and I don't know what I expected, but I was like, this tastes like coffee. And I think that was just a bonus. I didn't know what I expected it to take because, you know, when maybe you Cook, you Bake a cake or something, and it's not quite the same as somebody who can do it really well. I had this cup of coffee, and it tasted like a good cup of coffee. I've done that. So I'm very proud of myself at the moment. We need to make bury the barista merch. Can we make Barry the barista merch? We should get somebody in our lab on it. Anyway, that sounds a good idea. I'm very much toying with the idea. Is this just something that I do at home, or does it become a side hustle where I now I start developing my own brand and start selling coffee to the local area because it requires it's so different from the day job that it's actually quite good fun to do. And actually, I was surprised. It doesn't actually take very long to roast a batch of coffee. It's about 15, 20 minutes. I don't know why. I expected a lot more. It's just quite therapeutic. So I don't know. This might end up to be an entirely new enterprise. I might give up human factors forever and just become a coffee roaster. Yeah. We need to get some Berry the barista merch. I need an apron. A Brown apron. We can put it on an apron. Yes. Anyway, that's about me, Nick, what about you? What's your One more thing? Oh, in traditional Berry fashion, I'm going to do three more things today. I want to do two. I know, but you didn't do two today. So I'm going to take one of yours. Okay, great. I always do one. So here's the thing. There was a lot going on before I had to leave for vacation, and there was a lot going on, and that was a lot I just want to say it probably seems seamless to you listening or watching, but that was a lot of work. And just thank you for sticking with us in our one week of technical absence. But really, it was like a three week vacation for us back here behind the scenes. Actually, not really. It was like a week vacation for me because I was still doing stuff. But that leads me to my second point here. Star Wars Celebration is where I went. It was great. I got to see the first two episodes of Obiwan with Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor in the same room. It was pretty sweet on the big screen, and I was posting all about it in the discord. You can go and see, like, I think it was in the random channel. You can go and see kind of my experiences as they were happening. I was like, oh, 100ft away from some cool people. And I think the biggest thing that I think that whole experience for me this time around. Last time I say it jokingly, not jokingly. It was a spiritual experience last time because it was the Chewy wore home trailer, and I was there with all the big stars on the stage. And to be around that fandom in a loving, caring environment, there was fandom can be incredibly toxic in a lot of cases, and it just wasn't in this place. And it's so comforting to have that in one place despite all the germs floating around. But I think the biggest thing for me is that we added a new fan to that mix. When we went. My wife and I have been really careful with how we've introduced Star Wars to my son's life. We never wanted to be too forced. He knows what a lightsaber is. He looks over my shoulder and sees these. He knows what those are. But when we went, he was saying Hi to R. He was saying Hi to BB Eight. All the Droids. He's a Droid fan. He loves Droids. And just the fact that we made a Star Wars fan out of that little kid, that warms my heart, and that leads me to my third point of the One More Thing. It's all connected. His costume, his costume. I've been talking about it for weeks. My wife and I spent so much time on this thing, we never got him into the full costume. And that's okay. We got him into almost everything. Sands the mask, which is sitting right here above my right shoulder. We didn't forget it like Barry did his audio equipment for EHF, but we brought it. He just didn't want to wear it because I'm sure it feels claustrophobic, low field of vision and all that stuff. So we got a pretty good picture of them again. It'll be in the discord. You can go see it there. And the character that it's supposed to be, Darth Revan, which is also his name, Revan. We named him Dart. Anyway, it's just overall a really positive experience. And adjusting to being back is a lot. It's a lot, man. And being sick. I was fine until Friday after the lab meet. I'm raising my voice, but I was fine until Friday after the lab meeting. And then something just hit me over the weekend out. And then Monday, Tuesday out. It's just bad. Okay, that's my One More thing. And I think that's the show. So thank you, everyone, for joining us this week. If you like what we talked about today, especially around the topic of airports, I don't know. I'll encourage you all to go listen to what happens when we have flying cars and what that means for future transportation. Episode 213 and these airports might even become obsolete. We never know. Comment wherever you're listening with what you think of the story this week. I don't know. It's a little nontraditional for us, but let us know for more in depth discussion. You can always join us on our community discord. Visit our official website. Sign up for our Newsletter Stay up to date with all the latest human factors news, and keep up with our Pride campaign, too. We have new stuff dropping all month long to celebrate Pride. If you like what you hear, you want to support the show, there's a couple of things you can do. One, leave us a five star review. Wherever you're listening, watching, viewing, whatever. That really helps other people find the show and says it's good or whatever, or leave us a bad review. I don't know. Don't do that. Tell your friends about us. Word of mouth is how we grow. Seriously, if somebody says, hey, I listened to this really great podcast and this one guy was sick the whole time and the other guy talked about tools and coffee, it was great. That will really help us grow. And three, if you can support us on Patreon, that's 30% of our proceeds this month going to the Trevor Project. And especially if you want to become a show sponsor. Barry said he'd jump on it if no one else did. So either way, I got a sponsor. Just kidding. But do check out the Patreon. We do always kick back a lot of stuff for our patrons. And this month especially, you'd be doing a lot of youth good favor. I want to thank links to all of our socials in our website in the description of this episode. As always, I want to thank Mr. Barry Kirby for being on the show today. Where can I listen to go and find you if they want to talk about you, about the exciting world of construction safety exciting world. You can find me on Twitter at bazcocay and other socials at Mr. B Kirby. But if you want to hear some human practice interviews, come and find me on As for me Ben your host Nick Rome you can find me on our discord server when I'm not sick and across social media at Nick Rome thanks again for tuning in the human factors cast. Until next time it depends.

Barry KirbyProfile 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.