Human Factors

The Usability Engineering group (UE) at TNO Human Factors develops and applies guidelines, methods and user interface concepts that guide the software development process to improve the task support, accessibility and ease of interaction.

Usability testing is an important instrument for systematically addressing the user and usage perspective during system (re)development. The UE group applies generic and customized methods, tools and facilities to apply cost-effective tests of software and services (web sites, mobile services, desktop applications) in different development stages. The usability tests are performed on location or in our Usability Lab.

The Usability Lab offers a flexible number of rooms which can be arranged as needed (for individual or parallel software testing purposes). The rooms are connected via a computer network, and a routing system for all audio and video signals. From the observation room user behavior is monitored, recorded and scored using The Observer (Noldus Information Technology). In addition, the lab is quipped with an eye-tracking device, tools for measuring mental load and a tool (TIATO) for task and question provision. In specific research projects, customized solutions are developed for the simulation of interaction. The data gathered in the test is analysed using dedicated statistical software packages to assess efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, trust, mental load and emotional state.

Currently, three of the rooms are converted to intelligent environments (a home, an office and a museum) in which physical (lighting, heating, appliances, etc.) and information (route planning, weather, news, movies, etc.) services can be triggered by the user and/or the control room for usability tests in the ubiquitous computing domain.

TNO Human Factors

Department of Information Processing 

P.O. Box 23 

3769 ZG Soesterberg 

The Netherlands


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