Guide and documentation system to support digital human modeling applications
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2006
Car developers use digital human modeling tools to analyze and visualize car interiors in relation to human characteristics before the vehicles are actually constructed. Developers, reviewers and users of human simulation tools often claim that such tools can reduce development time and costs. In car industry companies today, human simulation tools are used by a single or a few experts in an informal working process with insufficient documentation. To prepare for extensive, effective and efficient use of human simulation modeling tools in industry with several users within a company, the aim of this study was to design and evaluate a digital guide and documentation system to support digital human modeling applications. A participative design approach was used in developing the guide, involving human simulation tool users and managers within the General Motors Group. The system consists of two major parts: a usage guide and database. The usage guide is divided into three sections considering the professionals involved: (1) initiation of human-vehicle interaction analysis, (2) preparation and running of the digital human tool and (3) recommendation formulation and closure. The guide was connected to a database with search and print capabilities for previous and ongoing human simulation analyses. Sixteen subjects from industry and university settings evaluated the support system. Results showed that the users appreciated the guide and documentation system, in particular, the database for storing human simulation work. The guide was perceived as being especially useful for guidance in large analyses, whereas for smaller ones the subjects felt the formalized guide was too lengthy and time consuming. The use of the formalized guide is likely to reduce differences in results, within and between tool users. The support system guides the simulation tool user through an acknowledged process; it documents, stores and keeps track of ongoing and previous analyses, and facilitates the reuse of studies. The system can be very helpful for industries striving to improve process quality and documentation of digital human modeling analyses.