Practitioner Submission Guidance

What to Include in Your Practitioner Oriented Submission

Practitioners apply Human Factors/Ergonomics (HF/E) principles and methodologies to real-world settings.  For example, they apply what has been learned about humans’ physical and cognitive capabilities – how humans think, understand, learn, remember, and convert intentions to actions – to system design. They design solutions to help people achieve their goals – in the workplace, at home, for fitness, during recreation, or at play among others.  They work within constraints – schedule demands, funding allocations, and resource limitations seeking optimal solutions for their end-users and project stakeholders.  Often their work is conducted in the field rather than a laboratory. They focus on user-centered design by conducting applied research and other human-centered design activities to ensure user needs are the foremost consideration when making trade-offs and decisions.  One way to share insights, best practices, and lessons learned is through case studies.

I. Abstract:  A summary of the contents of your paper:

Briefly describe the approach taken to achieve the expected outcomes of the project.

Answer these questions:

  • How was the project identified (e.g., was it an employee suggestion, a health or safety concern, a quality issue, production challenge, product design consideration, etc. or was it chosen to answer a specific question)?
  • What analytical tools and processes did you apply (e.g., observational study, contextual analysis, focus group, heuristic evaluation, usability test, modeling and simulation, etc.)?
  • What special business analysis methods did you use (e.g., business process modelling, use case modelling, requirement analysis, quality improvement methods, etc.)?
  • Who participated in the project?
  • What outcomes were achieved?
  • What conclusions were reached?
If your project was primarily an applied occupational intervention, report the remediation effect, business issues identified and the benefits achieved.

If your project was primarily focused on applying HF/E to address a knowledge gap in the technology or research base, report your conclusions.

If your project was primarily a system or product design, report how you applied human factors design and testing methods and implications for other practitioners.

II.  Introduction/ Background section: an expanded and detailed description of why this particular project was undertaken.

  • Within which business application, culture or environment was this study conducted?
  • What HF/E or business issue(s) led to you performing this intervention or project?
  • How was the opportunity/need identified (e.g., was it an employee suggestion, a health concern, a quality issue, production challenge, product design consideration, etc.)?
  • What gaps in research to practice or application of such knowledge did you investigate?


III. Purpose: a summary describing the intended objective(s) of this project.

  • What were the expected outcomes from this project and how did you apply HF/E to achieve them?
  • What was the impact of applying HF/E to the issues identified?
  • What knowledge was gained?

 IV.  Method – a description of the approach taken to conduct the project.

  • What investigation/applied research process was implemented?
    • Who participated and what were their roles?
    • What investigation strategies, analyses, design methods or tools were used?
    • What procedures were followed?
    • How was data identified, gathered and analyzed?
    • Were measures of productivity, operational efficiency and return on investment (ROI) considered? 

Identify any constraints (business, logistical or methodological) and how they affected the project. Consider including information about:

  • What contributed to the success of the project (e.g., events, decisions, actions, communications, collaborations, stakeholders, etc.)?
  • What were considered the most important measures of success by your project’s stakeholders (e.g., management, stakeholder satisfaction, budget, schedule, quality of results, business impact, design impact, employee satisfaction, etc.)?
  • What limitations did you encounter that impacted results (e.g., business considerations, such as cost, time, resources, production demands, sample size and methodology, such as data capture, analysis tools and techniques, etc.)? Please note any company proprietary requirements that prevent you from sharing certain aspects of the results.
V.  Results: summarize your findings
  • Describe the outcome of the project/applied research (e.g., reduced risk exposure, less materials handling, fewer errors, better business processes, identification of a useful and usable system, etc.).
  • Tables and graphs are often an effective way to summarize and present results.
  • Provide any relevant descriptive statistics or other statistical results. 

VI.  Discussion:
describe what you learned and include recommendations for consideration in future projects.
  • What was the impact on existing business operations, technology or technical systems?
  • How did you collaborate with others (e.g., engineers, developers, etc.) to incorporate HF/E into the project?
  • What changes, if any, could this project have on human resources or managerial relationships (e.g., changes to the way people are rewarded, trained, roles and responsibilities, reporting relationships, etc.)?
  • What changes, if any, could this project have on the way stakeholders currently conduct their business (e.g., changes to business processes, procedures, etc.)?
  • What, if anything, needs to be clearly declared as outside the boundaries or charter of this project?
  • What is the total estimated cost and estimated benefit of this project, if applicable/available?
  • Emphasize the implications and generalizability of your findings or message to other efforts, systems or tools.


Conclusion: describe potential implications for future related research or applications.

  • What was the impact on business, employees, product design, quality or production?
  • What recommendations do you have for others conducting similar applied research and real-world projects?
  • What additional basic or applied research questions were identified by your work?
  • What would you do the same, what would you do differently? What best practices did you identify?
  • What is the practical takeaway that others may implement or adapt?


References: document references included in your paper

Book reference example

Imada, A. S., & Stawowy, G. (1996). The effects of a participatory ergonomics redesign of food service stands on speed of service in a professional baseball stadium. In O. Brown, Jr., & H. W. Hendrick (Eds.), Human factors in organizational design and management – V.Amsterdam: North-Holland.

Journal reference example

March, A. (1994, September–October). Usability: The new dimension. Harvard Business Review, pp. 144–152.

Mallett, R. (1995, July). Human factors: Why aren’t they considered? Professional Safety, pp. 30–32.