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Engineering Psychologist

Gather user feedback to help Engineers design more appealing products.

What does an Engineering Psychologist do?

An Engineering Psychologist enforces rules about convenience, comfort, and comprehension in the design of products. While “math” and “science” rule supreme in the world of engineering — which means designs are always precise but not necessarily practical — even the most stubborn Engineers eventually learn: It’s not enough to withstand the laws of physics. In order to be successful, a design must also withstand the laws of man.

In other words, it’s not enough to design a house if no one wants to live in it, to design a chair if no one wants to sit in it, or to design a piece of software if no one knows how to use it. With that in mind, Engineering Psychologists make sure Engineers consider not just form but also function.

As an Engineering Psychologist, you rely on your knowledge of psychology — and complementary fields like ergonomics — to test products and assess them from a human point of view. Your goal is to discover the psychological and physical attributes that make products attractive, appealing, and user-friendly.

Your methods might include focus groups, personal interviews, observation, or any number of other psychological research tools. Always, however, your job entails collecting feedback, then translating it into design recommendations for Engineers, who use your findings to revise products and make them at once more pleasing and more practical.

Basically, you’re a Translator: You interpret the human brain for Engineers so they can communicate effectively with consumers, “reading their minds” to design better products.