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HFES News and Bulletin

Zebra Technologies to Receive Product Design Award
Thursday, September 15, 2016

The recipient of the HFES Product Design Technical Group 2016 Stanley H. Caplan User-Centered Product Design Award is Zebra Technologies for the TC8000 Rugged Mobile Computer. The award will be presented during a special award session at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 20, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, followed by a discussion of the challenges and successes of developing the device. Both practitioners and students will gain from this exemplary case study, which will be presented by members of Zebra’s Innovation & Design team, who were responsible for the design of the TC8000. The Annual Meeting will be held September 19-23 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC.

The Zebra TC8000 is a rugged handheld mobile computer with an innovative design that has proven to increase productivity and reduce fatigue for workers in highly intensive barcode-scanning environments.  Zebra human factors engineers observed warehouse operations in multiple locations, conducted rigorous tests in three phases in the lab and the field, and ultimately produced a device that replaced the dual-plane interface of the previous design with a single plane that allowed users to scan and view the screen with a single motion. As noted in Zebra's award submission, "a combination of studies have shown an increase in productivity of 14% with the TC8000 for picking workflows, with scan rates of 11 to 12 scans per minute. This generates approximately 1 hour saved per worker over an 8-hour day."

Judges noted that the device is highly intuitive and that development followed an exemplary, classic HF/E user-centered design process.

The Zebra multidisciplinary team behind the TC8000 rugged mobile computer includes

  • Industrial designer Konstantinos "Dino" Tsiopanos, who focuses on advanced product design. Dino has spent the last 6 years envisioning, designing, prototyping, and testing hardware and user experiences in the fields of enterprise-class laptop computing, public safety devices, barcode scanners, rugged handheld mobile computers, and printers.
  • Human factors practitioner Chandra Nair is a Certified Professional Ergonomist with extensive experience in testing and evaluation of products involving human interface, including handheld data capture devices, hand tools, surgical instruments, controls and automotive and office seating.
  • Design researcher Richard Martin spends most of his time gathering, validating, and championing user requirements in the field, in the studio, and in various conference rooms across the globe. In the last 10 years, his work has touched the retail, transportation and logistics, warehouse, and public safety industries.

Honorable Mention
The judges for this year's award also acknowledged the excellent human factors work behind Xerox Digital Alternatives, a software application that aims to help Xerox customers transition from paper-based to digital document and information-centered workflows. Development began with ethnographic studies over a period of 6 years, followed by prototyping and iterative user testing. The September 20 session will include a presentation by Jennifer Englert, senior cognitive engineer, about the design and development of Xerox Digital Alternatives.

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The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world’s largest scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,500 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. "Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering."

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