Innovative Ergonomic DesignErgonomic Design
Product styling, unique features, use of colors & cosmetic appeal are driving factors in new product design in the hopes of drawing consumer attention to a new product. Ergonomic design goes far beyond cosmetic appeal. It is an art that is overlooked by the majority of brand products in achieving the aforementioned attention grabbers. While style, color, features and overall cosmetic appeal may get the consumers attention to take a product off the shelf or purchase it via the worldwide web, it does not prevent returns or negative comments if it is not user friendly.Once the product is out of the package and the consumer attempts to use it the ergonomics quickly determine if the product will become a closet item or returned to the retailer as unsatisfactory. A great design is one that is intuitive for initial out of the box assembly and easily operated (clearly label or marked function controls), thus not requiring a step by step manual to operate it and use it’s features. Good ergonomic design provides the user with a tangible, easily perceivable solution to known issues of similar products.
A key factor in ergonomic design is very easy to read/legible controls, which are overlooked by most product designers. Why is this important?
- According to the report for the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, 20.6 million American Adults age 18 and older reported experiencing vision loss.
- Definition and scope: The term vision loss refers to individuals who reported that they have trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, as well as to individuals who reported that they are blind or unable to see at all. This estimate pertains to a nationally representative sample of the non institutionalized civilian population 18 years of age and over.
- Data source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2012,www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm. For further information, see “Blackwell, D.L., Lucas, J.W., & Clarke, T.C. (2014). Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2012. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 10(260).”
Confirmation: Ask end users the following questions;
- When you opened the box, did you see a quick start user instruction under the top flap.
- Was it easy to remove from packaging and assemble without instructions? If assembly was required were there clearly labeled parts indicating position/alignment that could be easily seen such as color coded alignment markers, etc.
- Were you able to operate basic functions without reading the manual?