Human Factors Expert Services

Dr. William Vigilante at Vigilante Forensic offers the following services related to human factors and ergonomics:

Forensic Investigations

Discovery review and analysis:
Gathering relevant facts and identifying important aspects of your case.  We are able to help you identify what information is important for a human factors expert analysis of your case.
Deposition and discovery questions:
Asking the right question in discovery requests and depositions is important in building a coherent and strong theory of liability.  William Vigilante’s familiarity and experience with human factors as it relates to product safety, warning design, roadway safety, and premises safety provides him an insight of what relevant parties should have done, should have known, and/or should have had access to. 
Lighting analysis:
Was the roadway environment, stairway, or walkway adequately lit (illuminated) to allow detection of the hazard and/or circumstance involved in the incident?  William Vigilante is able to measure the lighting levels along roadways, stairways, and walkways to determine if they met applicable codes and standards and/or quantify the ability of the person to readily detect the presence of the hazard and/or condition.
Site inspections:

Often times the “why” an incident occurred is not clear until an adequate evaluation and observation of the site is performed.  Often times relevant features of the environment are over looked by first responders and others investigating the scene leaving holes in explaining what happened and why.  William Vigilante is capable of surveying the scene from the perceptive of the parties involved to identify both environmental and situational factors that interacted with the human factor to cause and/or contribute to an incident.
Sound level evaluations:
Was the backup alarm sufficiently loud enough to alert the parties involved to the hazard in time to take action?  Did the ambient noise mask or cover an audible alarm? Does the noise coming from the adjacent property exceed the local ordinances?  William Vigilante is able to measure the sound level of the ambient environment and audible alarms and quantify the ability, or lack thereof, of a person to hear the signal and/or backup alarm.
Good report writing is often necessary to communicate ones findings, how they were arrived at, and the scientific and professional support for the findings.  William Vigilante provides a thorough explanation of what was done, how it was done, and how his analysis and findings are supported in his formal reports.  In states where formal reports are not required, Dr. Vigilante memorializes his opinions and prepares his support prior to testimony in an effort to minimize surprises and to ensure all planned upon opinions are offered.
William Vigilante has been through many depositions and has provided expert trial testimony in the field of human factors and ergonomics in over 30 state and federal courts across the country over the past dozen years.  Dr. Vigilante is familiar with and comfortable providing expert testimony related to his investigation and analysis in a manner that is easy to understand and relate to.
Trial Exhibits:
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much are good videos and animations worth?  William Vigilante will work with you to propose and ensure relevant trial exhibits are available to use to exhibit to the trier of fact the relevant parts of his investigation and analysis.

Product Design and Safety Consulting

Benchmark Testing:
How usable and user friendly is your product and/or warnings? Dr. Vigilante is experienced in assessing products and warnings using both formal and informal testing procedures to identify where your product falls compared to your goals.
Competitive Design Review:
How does your product compare with the competition in ease of use and user acceptance? Dr. Vigilante is experienced in identifying comparable competitor products and assessing them against your product.
Control – Display Design:
The user interface is the part of the system that allows the person to interact with or use the product. To make a product perform a function (e.g., copy a page) the user often has to engage a control (e.g., push the copy button). The result of that control action needs to be adequately communicated back to the user through a display (e.g., a confirmation message on the copier). Control/display compatibility is just one of the factors that go into making a product or system usable, efficient, and safe. Dr. Vigilante is experienced in designing the control and displays needed to use products, machines, equipment, and complex systems.
End User Surveys:
Whether the question involves what the user wants features do they want in a product, does the user understand or appreciate a certain topic or concept, and/or are users satisfied with the product, surveys and questionnaires are a great way to capture end user data. Dr. Vigilante has designed and conducted dozens of end user surveys and can help you answer questions related to your product, company, or system.
Heuristic Evaluations:
Need an evaluation of your product and/or warning but do not have the budget and/or time for a formal study? Heuristic evaluations involve the assessment of your product and/or warning against known usability and scientific principles and industry standards. A proper heuristic evaluation must be done by a qualified professional intimately familiar with the relevant scientific literature, best practices, and relevant standards. The evaluator must also be experienced in product design, usability, and end user testing. Dr. Vigilante’s 20 plus years of experience in product usability and warnings along with his in depth knowledge of the field of human factors, product usability, warnings, and industry standards allows him to perform professional evaluations of your products and/or warning to ensure they meet relevant minimum design criteria
Product Usability Analysis:
Ease of Use, Usability, User Friendly, and User Centered Design are all terms used to describe the same process: designing for human use. Thousands of dollars invested to come up with technological inventions or features for your product mean nothing to your customer if they cannot figure out how to use it. Book shelves are filled with products that were purchased with great promise only to frustrate and infuriate your ex-customer. Product usability analysis should be integrated into the design and development of your product from the start to ensure your users’ needs are identified and met. Dr. Vigilante has been involved in the design and development of dozens of consumer and commercial products and can help you ensure the usability of your product and the satisfaction of your customers.
Usability Testing:
Usability testing is the formal methodology used to assess your concepts and validate your designs. Usability testing can take different forms depending upon the cycle of your design process from basic paper/pencil mockups, through proofs of concept. The link between the methodologies is the inclusion of real live users in the assessment of the product design and the focus on ensuring the design is intuitive, efficient, and safe. Dr. Vigilante has conducted hundreds of hours of usability testing on all different types of consumer and commercial products. Dr. Vigilante is familiar with all different types and methods to conduct end user testing including formal laboratory studies and remote usability activities.
Visual and Audible Warning Design and Evaluation:
Warnings are important to ensure users are alerted to hazards, understand what actions are needed to avoid the hazard, and comprehend the consequences of the hazard so they can make a fully informed decision with respect to their behavior. Given their importance to safety, it is imperative that warnings are designed and tested in conjunction with the rest of the product and not just slapped on the product before it ships out the door. Too many designers see warnings as an afterthought. The result is the proliferation of many inadequate and bad warnings. Dr. Vigilante has been studying the factors that affect the adequacy of visual, auditory, and tactical warnings for nearly 25 years. Dr. Vigilante has also designed and tested many consumer and commercial product warning systems over that time period. Dr. Vigilante’s wealth of knowledge related to warning design is invaluable in your efforts to ensure users have them information they need to look after their own safety.