Design for emergencies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Design is not about decoration but about usability, and this chapter explores ways to improve usability during emergencies through design. Based on our understanding of human cognition during emergencies, and on the interaction between the three system pillars—environment, human operator, and equipment—we can draw the necessary guidelines for designing systems that should operate under emergency conditions.The design guidelines start from understanding the environment and its effect on the human operator and the equipment. With the understanding of the human limitations during emergency conditions and under high cognitive load, we should focus on designing the equipment with features that will support simple operation, with no dependency on external resources, and resilient to failure. Such design would allow the human operator to successfully use the equipment during the emergency, and the system will be useful and effective even under unexpected circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign for Health
Subtitle of host publicationApplications of Human Factors
EditorsArathi Sethumadhavan, Farzan Sasangohar
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780128164273
ISBN (Print)9780128166215
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Resilience
  • design
  • emergencies
  • mass-casualty incident
  • emergency medical services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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