Designing Ergonomic Data Tools for Designers

DS 58-8: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 8, Design Information and Knowledge, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Dong, Hua; Nickpour, Farnaz; McGinley, Chris
Series: ICED
Section: Design Information and Knowledge
Page(s): 53-64


Ergonomics provides important user data for design. However, when interviewing designers about their use of data in the design process, we found that experienced designers' use of ergonomics data were very limited. Being "out of date", "irrelevant" and "hard to understand and work with" were the main comments on existing ergonomics datasets, especially anthropometrics. The eleven designers interviewed all tend to adopt more experimental approaches to data capture, for example, through building ergonomics rigs and conducting user tests. They prefer designer-friendly user data tools, e.g. relevant, intuitive, highly visual tools which are fast and easy to learn and to work with; and prefer tools that are compatible with other design tools they typically use. Based on the designers' preferences and suggestions, we have prototyped a number of new tools for communicating user data to industrial designers. Two workshops were organized to evaluate the effectiveness of these tools with novice and professional designers. The feedback from the workshop participants was used for further development of these user data tools.

Keywords: Ergomonics data, Anthropometrics, inclusive design, prototype tools, evaluation workshop


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