F35 UX

Portfolio case: UX design on the F-35

In this case description, I will share how I worked on human interface designs for mission critical systems on the F-35 aircraft platform, and managed to introduce key UX procedures that are still in use.

Tom Harmon, Air Force Pilot, F-35 Requirements Manager, BAE Systems

“I worked with Mikkel on the F-35 during systems design and early low rate initial production in Fort Worth, TX. He’s a highly skilled human factors consultant and interaction designer whose specialist knowledge and input led to excellent requirements and human interface designs, and ultimately the creation of several mission critical on- and offboard digital solutions for the Joint Strike Fighter.”

Designing for criticality and complexity

The F-35 is a unique, highly capable and dependable multi-role fighter. The aircraft is also quite probably the most complex thing ever made on a production line.

This unique combination of criticality and complexity requires particular attention to the user experience design of the digital systems both on- and off-board such a piece of military technology.

Human interfaces on the F-35

As a UX designer, I was tasked with supporting the user by validating functional requirements and designing digital human interfaces on the F-35. My UX design work was done when the program was in systems design and development (SDD) and early low rate initial production (LRIP) stages in Fort Worth, TX.

In this context, I was part of a larger development team and organisation with the task of developing on- and offboard systems for pilots, maintenance diagnostics, mission planning and aircraft servicing.

Read more in my blog post here:

The F-35 has a complex ecosystem of on- and off-board systems for diagnostics, planning and servicing. I was tasked with designing user experiences in this unique context. Read my portfolio here.
The F-35 Panoramic Display (touch) and Helmet AR vision.

Making a difference

The most fulfilling part of designing for the F-35 was designing for something that makes a positive difference for world peace – saving and protecting life.

The F-35 is a peacemaker that changes the world for the better in the right hands. Designing UX on such a platform is a daunting and very meaningful task.

A unique mission

Designing interactive, digital solutions for military, national intelligence or law enforcement is a unique skill and mission within the realm of UX design.

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