Klaus Hofer

Applying UX Psychology to High Risk Procedures

Key Learnings

  • Describe how to engineer behaviour reinforcement into an operating procedure.
  • Provide three examples on how to engineer comprehension control into a document.
  • Apply four simple techniques to measurably reduce Reading Grade Levels (RGLs) to reduce the risk of comprehension errors.
  • List the essential navigation elements your product must have so users can navigate for what they are looking for.

If you write anything to instruct people on how to do something, this presentation is for you.

The news is bad: the Geneva based ILO (International Labor Organization) estimates that more than one million people lose their lives at work annually. OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Association) in 2018 reported 5250 fatalities in the highly regulated Oil and Gas Industry alone. Since 2014 we have not shown significant improvement.

We have not improved. “Safety is our First Priority” is what we all say. Countless safety trainings, hazard assessment tools, risk ranking methods and awareness programs are to make us safer, and yet the industry has not recorded a significant improvement since 2014.

High-risk procedures can kill. Most UX solutions focus on marketing and web and app designs. More recently UX engineered control rooms, cockpit layouts and car dashboards have helped save lives. However, a comprehension error during a surgical procedure or an emergency procedure can also have fatal consequences, and these high-risk procedures are not prepared by qualified UX engineers.

UX engineering can make us safer: This presentation shows how strategically applied psychology improves industrial safety. We recommend applying cognitive strategies to measurably reduce comprehension errors in order to measurably reduce human performance errors. By reducing human performance errors, we measurably increase safety.

The laws of nature operate regardless: UX is based on the laws of human nature and the laws of nature cannot be fooled.

Date: Thursday, October 22nd
Time: 11:30 - 12:15


Klaus Hofer

Founder and CEO, CAT-i

A corporate psychologist by training, Klaus’s passion for Usability Mapping was triggered by a serious incident that endangered the life of an unsuspecting hospital patient. In search of the cause, he found only opinions, judgmental answers and countless rules. This led him to the question: “How can well trained, focused and dedicated professionals make mistakes that could kill someone?”

The question in turn led him to a lifetime of research, development and now promoting the scientific principles that underpin the development of safer, more usable documentation. He founded CAT-i in 2003 and has personally trained over 4,000 professionals in 38 organizations world-wide.

Born in Austria, Klaus is Canadian Citizen, lives in Canada and spends his spare time on his second passion – music.

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