February 9, 2013

Human-factors Pioneer Dies at 94

The father of human-factors engineering, the guy who first interfaced industrial products to humans, has died. Margalit Fox, writing for The NYT:

“Mr. Karlin, associated from 1945 until his retirement in 1977 with Bell Labs, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., was widely considered the father of human-factors engineering in American industry.”

(Via DF.)

Human-factors engineering is the primary reason technology has so thoroughly become a part of global lifestyles. Products now live or die by how well they fit their owner’s hand, rather than by mere usefulness.

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