Mike Hanna

UX Crash and Burn: UX brought down the 737 Max

Key Learnings

  • Identify UX challenges under stress.
  • Recognize UX compliant checklists.
  • Recognize UX compliant procedures.
  • Understand the importance of navigational design in life critical documents.

UX Crash and Burn: UX brought down the 737 Max and it is UX that can save lives.

On October 29, 2018 Lion Air flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea killing 189 passengers and crew. On March 10th 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed, killing all 157 people on board. 346 people died while the lifesaving answer was in the hands of the people trained to solve the problem. It doesn’t matter how good the answer is if we can’t find it. A UX analysis of the behaviors and UX compliant tools used by the pilots could have saved 346 lives.

Flying modern commercial airlines is a complicated and stressful task. Aircraft design is influenced by the pressures of capability, efficiency, and comfort. UX solutions to the challenge pilots face using human behavioral research, communication techniques, and cognition limits under stress can save lives.

Date: Thursday, October 14th
Time: 09:30 - 10:15
Location: HALL 1a


Mike Hanna

Director, CAT-i

Usability in the Oil and Gas worker is a matter of life and death. Operational behaviors involving risk must be driven by procedures – that is the law. Traditionally documents are well written and technically accurate but are not engineered for usability. The results can be fatal. Usability engineering save lives. We can demonstrate, with real world examples, how usability engineering can reduce accidents.

Behavior driving procedures cannot be crafted with the traditional tools of technical writing. Users are not readers. The pressures of regulatory compliance, process complexity, and a wide spectrum of risk require documents to compensate for human behavioral needs. By applying research about human behavior, the Petrochemical industry is adopting behavioral methodologies to make the workers safer and more efficient. Safety and Usability cannot be separated.

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