User-centered evaluation of handle shape and size and input controls for a neutron detector

Scarlett R. Herring, Pamela Castillejos, M. Susan Hallbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Current neutron detectors are big, heavy, difficult to use and are not ergonomically designed. Good handle design and easy to use control mechanisms are imperative for comfort, usability and accuracy for hand-held tools. Two studies were performed to assess these factors; Study I explored handle design (shape and size) preference and Study II evaluated the effects of control mechanisms, device orientations and word orientation on performance time. According to research findings, the recommended handle perimeter is 11 cm with a diameter range of 3.5-4.0 cm. These results demonstrated that as the handle perimeter decreased the handle becomes less preferred by first responders when using layered gloves. For control type, the fastest performance time was found with vertical push buttons and a vertical word orientation. These objective results matched the subjective results, which showed that the most preferred controller was a vertical push button control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-928
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Controls
  • First responders
  • Gloves
  • Hand-held tools
  • Handle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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