Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ergonomics II

1. What is Ergonomics?

Outside of the discipline itself, the term 'ergonomics' is generally used to refer to physical ergonomics as it relates to the workplace (as in for example ergonomic chairs and keyboards). Ergonomics in the workplace has to do largely with the safety of employees, both long and short-term.

2. What are the 5 aspects of Ergonomics?

There are five aspects of ergonomics: safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity/performance, and aesthetics. Based on these aspects of ergonomics, examples are given of how products or systems could benefit from redesign based on ergonomic principles.

3. For each aspects of Ergonomics, explain with an example of a product that is designed for the elderly, how the product meet that particular aspect of Ergonomics.

Safety - Medicine bottles: The print on them could be larger since the elderly are more prone to falling ill and therefore might have impaired vision, and the large print will make it more easy for the elderly to see the dosages and label. Ergonomics could design the print style, color and size for optimal viewing.

Comfort - Alarm clock display: Some displays are harshly bright, which result in one's irises to contract sharply at short notice when drawn to the light when surroundings are dark. Ergonomic principles could redesign this based on contrast principles.

Productivity - TV: The sound on HD TV is much lower than regular TV. So when you switch from HD to regular, the volume increases dramatically. This drastic change in the volume may harm even further the hearing of the elderly.

Aesthetics - Signs in the workplace: Signage should be made consistent throughout the workplace to not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also so that information is easily accessible.

Ease of use - Street Signs: In a strange area, many times it is difficult to spot street signs. This could be addressed with the principles of visual detection in ergonomics.

Sources: Alarm clock display:
Signs in workplace:
Street Sign:

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