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Work. 2012;41 Suppl 1:989-96. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0275-989.

The amount of ergonomics and user involvement in 151 design processes.

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Media Arts and Design Academy, KHLim, C-mine 5, Genk, Belgium.


Ergonomics, usability and user-centered design are terms that are well known among designers. Yet, products often seem to fail to meet the users' needs, resulting in a gap between expected and experienced usability. To understand the possible causes of this gap the actions taken by the designer during the design process are studied in this paper. This can show whether and how certain actions influence the user-friendliness of the design products. The aim of this research was to understand whether ergonomic principles and methods are included in the design process, whether users are involved in this process and whether the experience of the designer (in ergonomics/user involvement) has an effect on the end product usability. In this study the design processes of 151 tangible products of students in design were analyzed. It showed that in 75% of the cases some ergonomic principles were applied. User involvement was performed in only 1/3 of the design cases. Hardly any correlation was found between the designers' experience in ergonomic principles and the way they applied it and no correlations were found between the designers' experience in user involvement and the users' involvement in the design process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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