Head of Human Factors

About the role

To support the growth and ambition of the business, we are looking for a Head of Human Factors to join the senior management team and lead our very experienced HF team of six staff.

Human Factors is a vital component of KD’s user-centred approach to innovation, design and product development, and is a key part of KD’s Medical offer.  Our work involves strategic planning, risk analysis and formative studies to set directions at early stages, and rigorous testing, analysis and summative studies during development and verification stages.

Reducing use-related risk is key but there is more to it – the correct application of Human Factors will also increase desire and engagement whilst reducing commercial risk. The question we always ask is ‘How can we leverage Human Factors to benefit your business?’

This is also a unique and exciting opportunity to join our multi-disciplinary senior management team and help to drive our business forward.  We’re looking for an outstanding individual with exceptional HF knowledge, combined with drive and experience of leadership roles in consultancy, or equivalent environment.

The Human Factors Team at KD

Human Factors (HF) delivers essential knowledge about how people interact with products, environments and services. It plays a crucial role in the design of new products and systems, by optimising efficiency, safety and satisfaction. We expertly provide the benefits of an independent HF team, by:

Understanding User Needs – Developing true, meaningful understanding of the user needs and requirements. Working beyond just tasks, users and environments, towards motivations, drivers and barriers to use. Contextual enquiry can be used early in development, to identify opportunities for improvement.

Informing / Formative Evaluations – Utilising early-stage testing and use-error analysis to guide and inform specifications and design decisions, grounded in use-related risk understanding and evaluation. This process allows for iteration of the client’s product, system or packaging based on user insight.

Validating – Conducting summative human factors studies to close the loop with confidence and rigour.

At KD we plan, run and recruit studies all over the globe and we have the benefit of an on-site research suite to allow clients, designers and engineers to view the research first hand.

Our end to end process is centred around the application of ISO 62366-1, whilst applying our understanding of technology and the commercial pressures that can influence product development.

Team Capabilities:

  • Application of ISO14971 & ISO62366
  • Formative & Summative Studies
  • FDA Submissions
  • Q Submission & Interpretation
  • Usability Engineering Plans
  • IRGB & MHRA Ethics Approvals
  • Evidence for Design Decisions
  • Contextual Enquiries
  • HTA, RCA, PCA, CTA Methodologies
  • Independent Reviews

About you

You may be a rising star, looking for an opportunity to step up into a leadership role, or an established professional, with experience in a similar position, looking for a new environment and challenge.  Either way, you’ll be talented, driven and ambitious, combining both humility and confidence in your ability to work in partnership with our other Expertise Heads, and to lead our Human Factors team onto new heights.

Your skills and experience


  • At least 10 years’ experience in Human Factors roles, including Medical device experience (preferably within a consultancy or similar team environment)
  • Robust understanding of, and application of Human Factors practice to, the following standards and guidance:
    • IEC 62366-1
    • ISO 14971
    • FDA Guidelines: Applying Human Factors and Usability Engineering to Medical Devices
    • Confidence and assurance in planning and delivering HF programmes, predominantly in the UK and US, including: expert review, task analysis, contextual enquiry, formative and summative/validation studies
    • Specific experience in the following:
    • Overall approach to HF relating to risk management, usability, design/engineering, testing
    • HF study planning / design
    • Protocol drafting
    • Ethical approvals management
    • Participant recruitment management
    • Study moderation, observation, data capture
    • Use error and root cause analysis
    • Reporting / presenting recommendations
    • HF experience with medical devices, digital user interfaces, packaging, labelling and instructions for use
    • Robust risk management and project management, including working within design control under quality management systems
    • Excellent planning and organisational skills to oversee multiple concurrent programmes
    • Excellent communication skills and commercial acumen (including ability to: relate well to colleagues, communicate HF expertise, present compelling credentials and work packages to client audiences)
    • Proven experience in leading, managing and developing a team (currently 6 people)
    • End to end application of Human Factors principles to ensure products and systems are fit for use.

About Us

At Kinneir Dufort (KD) we combine creative, technical and user experience expertise with agility.  This enables our collaborative teams to rapidly define, create, develop and deliver world-changing products and experiences.

We think KD is a special place.  Our team are intelligent, hard-working, fun, non-egocentric, and collaborate brilliantly together to produce creative solutions.  We work with some of the biggest, best and most interesting international clients you’ll find anywhere. We’re a multi-disciplinary team of 75, with experts in research, innovation, human factors, digital UX, 2D and 3D product & packaging design, engineering, prototyping, and electronics & software, all uniquely integrated within one building.

Our team are collectively driven to “design a better world” by creating impactful change and positive outcomes for our clients and the people we are designing for. Designing a better world is something we strive for, both in the work we do, and the way we work. We believe strongly in equality and fairness, and try hard to do the right thing; we speak up and support groups who are working to make a difference. Our official KD partners are the RSA, Frank Water, Kerning The Gap, TeenTech, Babbasa, and The Big Bang. Many of our team are also involved in, or run events in their local communities, making a difference to those around them.

Founded in 1977 by Ross Kinneir and Francis Dufort, the KD team are based in an iconic building in the vibrant city of Bristol. The characterful Grade 2 listed stone building was originally built as a sugar refinery around 1850, and was later used to store theatre costumes. It’s now completely refitted, and houses all our staff plus our workshops, labs, the design studio, HF usability suite, and client meeting spaces. The local area, “Christmas Steps Arts Quarter”, is full of independent shops and makers. It’s a short walk up to Park Street, or over to the Harbourside and St Nick’s Markets, both of which have regular street food markets.

Today, our business and teams are expanding rapidly as we acquire prestigious new clients and projects, and as a result we are building new adjacent offices. Work on the new glass building is due to start in 2020, and when complete we’ll connect the two buildings together. Having all of our staff, skills and equipment in one location ensures we quickly exchange ideas, and can continuously work as multi-disciplinary teams.

Why work with us?

We understand that we are only as good as our people, and we know how important it is to support our team.

We offer our staff:

  • 25 days holiday a year (with extra days for long service)
  • A matched contributory pension scheme
  • Company-wide bonus
  • Private health care for you and your family; free employee eye tests plus an employee assistance scheme
  • Training and development opportunities, and regular lunch and learn sessions
  • Flexible start and finish times: We all work core hours 09:30 – 16:00, and then benefit from an early finish of 12:00 on Fridays.
  • Secure in-building bike storage and shower, discounted First Bus monthly and annual passes. (Bristol has a good Park & Ride bus network.)
  • The opportunity to become involved in our work with the RSA, Frank Water, Kerning The Gap, TeenTech, Babbasa, The Big Bang.
  • Our cafe acts as the focal point for the whole agency to get together for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. There is always daily fresh fruit and usually cake! Staff also organise KD runs and yoga sessions, plus monthly “Firsty Friday” socials.

How to apply

If this sounds like you, then please send your CV and covering letter to [email protected].

Salary commensurate with experience. Only successful candidates will be contacted.

If you have any queries about the role you would like to talk through before you apply, please get in touch. If you’d like to apply we’d love to hear from you (unless you’re a recruitment consultant). We embrace equality and diversity in our business, it’s really important to us.

Read some insights from our Human Factors team here:

The necessity of HF within medical device development: Echo Kirk