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What's Next: Making Technology More ­ser-Friendly


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A handshake from some friendly technology

University of Kentucky professor Melody Carswell studies how people respond to new technologies, and how they can be made more user-friendly.

Credit: experientialmarketing 2.0

University of Kentucky professor Melody Carswell combines psychology and engineering to better understand the issues humans have with technology.

When Carswell realized she was not going to be an astronaut, she decided to study astronauts, pursuing research in aviation psychology, which developed into a more general area called human factors.

Carswell is the associate director of the U.K. Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, which develops next-generation displays and other technologies. She often tests prototypes to see how people respond to them and how they can be made more user-friendly.

A theme of her work is understanding how people select which technology to use. Carswell says people have all sorts of displays and they are not sure how to use them effectively, so they often stick with what they have seen before and do not try something new. Her team's research will influence how engineers design technology, including workstations for people who teach robots how to do welding.

From University of Kentucky News
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