Council Post: 16 Tips To Help Ensure Good Ergonomic Design In New Tech Tools (2022)

While there’s more focus than ever on providing a good user interface/user experience in new tech tools, that doesn’t just mean adding lots of “wow” functionality. To ensure the best UX, it’s important for hardware and software developers to also pay attention to ergonomic design. A focus on ergonomics ensures that the tool is adapted to foster comfort and convenience for the human user—that is, the human should inform how the tool works, not the other way around.

While the concept is simple enough, implementing it can be challenging, as designers must take account of factors ranging from device sizes to color palettes. Here, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council share tips to help developers ensure they’ve incorporated good ergonomic design principles in their products.

1. Remember Physical, Cognitive And Organizational Design

Size, weight, shape and the position of buttons and controls are all aspects that contribute to a product being ergonomically designed. Designers need to take a broader view, considering physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomic design and including accessibility. Improving ergonomics requires specific focus during the overall process. Conduct contextual research with your users, and always test your solution with users. - Praveen Desai, Impaqtive US Corp

2. Put Ergonomics And Intuition Before Beauty

Real beauty lies within, wise people say—but too many deny it. Developers are no different from the rest of society in this regard. They often focus too much on creating a visually perfect solution. They forget that it is supposed to be, above all, useful and intuitive. Let’s follow the holistic view of UX strategy, put ergonomics before design and create intuitive interfaces. - Robert Strzelecki, TenderHut

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3. Watch First-Time Users Engage With It

Understanding user behavior is essential for creating a good UI/UX. Users of today’s popular apps have developed a certain set of typical gestures and navigational techniques. Add this to a simple user interface to decrease the number of times users navigate and click. An effective testing method is to put the app in the hands of first-time users and watch them engage; a single-eye view is the best strategy. - Madhavi Shankar, SpaceBasic

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4. Don’t Overwhelm Users With Choices

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. People are overwhelmed with choices. The paradox of choice leads us to analysis paralysis or worse: I feel stupid for not understanding what to do. That emotion is then associated with your product, regardless of the value you think you’re providing. The best UI delivers “just in time” optionality with privacy-considerate “anticipatory” shortcuts. - Steve Shillingford, Deepsee.ai

5. Test On A Variety Of Screen Sizes

People consume information on screens of all shapes and sizes. A good UI/UX ergonomic design must adapt to a mobile device (small screen), a tablet (mid-size screen), a laptop (large screen) and the now common extra-large HD/4K screen. Developers must test on a variety of screen sizes to ensure good layout, navigation, color contrast and font sizes—and that all are easy on the eyes. - Henri Isenberg, ReviewInc

6. Remember The Aging Population

Designers must remember that many aging users will use their products. Those who have stared at computer screens for decades often have impacted eyesight and hearing. Larger-print screens, adjustable font sizes and distinct sounds are needed to support the aging population. - Laureen Knudsen, Broadcom

7. Consider Functional Diversity

Often overlooked are design solutions that are accessible to people with functional diversity (such as vision problems). Something that can be very helpful is to incorporate left-handed configuration profiles, as well as to test the solution both by using one hand and two hands. And finally, involve a diverse group of users to carry out the tests, and collect feedback. - Miguel Llorca, Torrent Group

8. Don’t Forget The ‘Reduce Unnecessary Motions’ Principle

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The “reduce unnecessary motions” principle is often overlooked in both software and hardware design. Aiming at achieving a “one-button-does-all” design, developers often forget that that single button might necessitate additional actions to be taken by the user to perform important, frequent actions, which will eventually waste their time. For example, in the automobile industry, touch screen overuse is a commonly known issue. - Aleks Farseev, SoMin.ai

9. Consider The Changing Roles Of Users

The role of the user is a critical design factor. A user might be a specialist or a manager, and as responsibilities change, they might use tools in different ways. Designing technology for a user’s evolving role as they grow in responsibility is particularly important in a world of changing skill sets and responsibilities. - Agur Jõgi, Pipedrive

10. Keep Touch Screen Target Size In Mind

Remember to think about target size. On touch screens, make sure you design with enough space for the average human finger to easily hit the correct buttons and other controls. Apple recommends a target size of at least 44 pixels wide and 44 pixels tall. - Kevin Philpott, Pie Insurance

11. Be Careful With Colors And Shades

Accessibility-focused design for differently abled and health-impacted people is still often overlooked. For example, designers are missing out when it comes to the approximately 300 million people in the world who are colorblind. Grappling with hues and shades deteriorates the user experience for people with color vision deficiency. It’s an issue that can easily be overcome by using textures. - Yasin Altaf, GoodCore Software

12. Think About The Psychological Aspects Of The UX

One ergonomic design principle that is often neglected is the ease of use. Nothing is more annoying for customers than taking up their time trying to figure out how to use a product or where to begin. It is critical to comprehend how the psychological aspects of a product’s UX—such as decision making, stress, pleasure, and cultural and religious differences—affect the user. - Ashish Fernando, iSchoolConnect

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13. Keep Actions Within Easy Reach

Keep actions within easy reach of users. On mobile, this is near the bottom of the screen, but on desktop, it could be near the content that you know the user is looking at. People assume that what they want should be right in front of them, so hiding actions in menus at the top of the screen will mean they are not found before the person loses interest. - Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket

14. Include Adjustable Settings

One ergonomic design principle that tech hardware/software developers often neglect is the need for adjustable settings. Many people use technology for long periods of time, and it is important to be able to adjust the settings to fit each individual’s needs. This includes things like font size, screen brightness and volume. - Fabio Moioli, Microsoft

15. Account For Device Switching

Universal device support for accessibility and usability is mandatory. Laptops have surpassed dual monitors and mobile phones as the preferred workspace, with users alternating between touchscreen, trackpad and mouse. The fact that today’s users frequently switch between devices with varying screen sizes is an important factor that should be considered when designing for comfort. - Chintan Shah, Brainvire InfoTech Inc.

16. Test With A Diverse User Base

Usability testing with a diverse user base is often ignored and/or overlooked. It’s important to understand that different users will use the system differently. So it is crucial to solicit user feedback regarding usability early on and to ensure that the team conducts usability testing to validate that the feedback has been incorporated. - Selva Pandian, DemandBlue

FAQs

What makes a good ergonomic design? ›

The best example of an ergonomic design is comfortable furniture like an office chair, an ideally designed desk, improved footrests, comfortable wrist rests, an adjustable monitor, an ergonomic keyboard, and a well-positioned mouse.

How do you design ergonomics? ›

Ergonomics involves designing the workplace to fit the needs of the worker rather than trying to make the worker adjust to the workplace. Good ergonomic design has been shown to increase work quality and production as well as worker well-being.

How a product is called ergonomically designed? ›

Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them.

How is ergonomics used in architectural design? ›

The main goal of the integration of ergonomics into architectural design is the optimization of human-built environment interactions to increase of humans' satisfaction with their built environment and improvement of the performance of buildings.

What is a good example of ergonomics? ›

Adjust the height of your chair so your elbows are at an open angle (90 -110 degrees) when typing. Organize your workspace into zones and keep frequently accessed items within arms reach. Set your armrests to desk level to help you more easily maintain neutral wrists.

Why is ergonomics so important? ›

Implementing ergonomic solutions can make employees more comfortable and increase productivity. Why is ergonomics important? Ergonomics is important because when you're doing a job and your body is stressed by an awkward posture, extreme temperature, or repeated movement your musculoskeletal system is affected.

What is the purpose of ergonomics? ›

The goal of ergonomics (i.e. the scientific study of people at work) is to prevent soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by sudden or sustained exposure to force, vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.

What are the principles of ergonomics? ›

The 10 Basic Principles of Ergonomics
  • Work in a neutral position. ...
  • Decrease the need for excessive force. ...
  • Keep materials within easy reach. ...
  • Work at the proper height. ...
  • Reduce unnecessary motions. ...
  • Minimize fatigue caused by static load. ...
  • Minimize contact stress. ...
  • Leave adequate clearance.

What is ergonomic in the workplace? ›

What is Ergonomics? Ergonomics can roughly be defined as the study of people in their working environment. More specifically, an ergonomist (pronounced like economist) designs or modifies the work to fit the worker, not the other way around. The goal is to eliminate discomfort and risk of injury due to work.

What is ergonomics in design and technology? ›

Ergonomics is the application of a set of average sizes of humans to the design of products. The product must fit the person who will use it. For example, if you are designing a chair you will need to work out the average comfortable seating height.

What is ergonomics simple? ›

Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

What are ergonomic features? ›

Common examples of ergonomic furniture features include: Height adjustability to ensure hips are parallel to knees when seated. Pivotal screen monitors (with filtered screens to help prevent glare and eye damage) Keyboard and mouse supports to reduce things like carpal tunnel syndrome.

What are ergonomics devices? ›

In this guideline, the term "ergonomic equipment" refers to workplace equipment and furniture, including but not limited to desks, chairs and monitors, provided to assist staff with the performance of work.

How can we fix ergonomics in the workplace? ›

Five Strategies to Improve Workplace Ergonomics
  1. Go beyond the standard assessment. ...
  2. Select appropriate safety equipment. ...
  3. Take varying heights into account. ...
  4. Offer opportunities to mix it up. ...
  5. Consistently communicate and educate.
Aug 19, 2019

What are the proper ergonomics in using computer? ›

Ergonomic Tips for Computer Users
  • Maintain good posture when working at the keyboard. ...
  • Keep your feet supported on the floor or on a footrest when you work to reduce pressure on your lower back.
  • Avoid twisting or bending your trunk or neck. ...
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides.

What is ergonomic safety? ›

Ergonomics safety ensures that the products, methods, and environment that a worker uses are appropriate to fit the worker's job requirements and personal capabilities.

How do you use ergonomics to keep yourself safe? ›

Maintain good posture

Keep your head, neck, back and legs aligned when standing, says Koshy. Your weight should be evenly distributed between the front and back of your feet. When seated, sit up straight so your ears, shoulders and hips are aligned. “Think about making yourself sit or stand taller,” Koshy said.

How can you improve ergonomics working from home? ›

10 Ergonomics Dos and Don'ts for Those Now Working from Home
  1. DON'T hunch over your laptop. ...
  2. DO work at an appropriate height. ...
  3. DO use an office chair if possible. ...
  4. DON'T give up on your current chair. ...
  5. DON'T let your feet dangle. ...
  6. DO follow the 20/20/20 rule. ...
  7. DON'T turn your couch into a workstation. ...
  8. DO customize a space to fit you.

What are the 4 steps in computer ergonomics? ›

Follow these easy steps to help set up your computer workstation.
  1. Step 1: Chair. Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair. ...
  2. Step 2: Keyboard. An articulating keyboard tray can provide optimal positioning of input devices. ...
  3. Step 3: Monitor, Documents, and Telephone. ...
  4. Step 4: Pauses and Breaks.

What is the first principle of ergonomics? ›

Principle 1.

Neutral postures are postures where the body is aligned and balanced while either sitting or standing, placing minimal stress on the body and keeping joints aligned. Neutral postures minimize the stress applied to muscles, tendons, nerves and bones and allows for maximum control and force production.

What is ergonomic training? ›

This course is offered to workers and employers to learn more about using ergonomic principles to recognize, evaluate and control work place conditions that cause or contribute to musculoskeletal and nerve disorders.

Why is a positive working environment important? ›

Benefits of Creating a Positive Work Environment

Increases employee happiness by as much as 33%. Prevents or reduces long-term sick leave. Boosts productivity, creativity, and profitability. Decreases employee turnover, in some cases by 58%.

What are the different types of ergonomics? ›

3 Dimensions Or Ergonomics
  • Physical Ergonomics. In physical ergonomics, it is mainly physiological interactions of people and their activities that are concerned. ...
  • Cognitive Ergonomics. ...
  • Organizational Ergonomics.
Feb 7, 2020

What is ergonomics and example? ›

Ergonomics is defined as the study of how people work in their environment. An example of ergonomics is a study of how people who primarily sit in their offices get work-related back injuries.

What is another word for ergonomic? ›

What is another word for ergonomic?
intuitiveconvenient
untroublesomehandy
manageablewieldy
user friendlyuser-friendly
easily operatedeasy to use
59 more rows

How do you use ergonomics in a sentence? ›

How to use Ergonomics in a sentence. We were impressed with the machine's ergonomics. It was stylish yet functional. The ergonomics of our new office space help to facilitate productivity and a better work ethic.

What are the 3 examples of ergonomics? ›

There are three types of ergonomics: physical, cognitive, and organizational.

What are ergonomic features? ›

Common examples of ergonomic furniture features include: Height adjustability to ensure hips are parallel to knees when seated. Pivotal screen monitors (with filtered screens to help prevent glare and eye damage) Keyboard and mouse supports to reduce things like carpal tunnel syndrome.

What are the principles of ergonomics? ›

The 10 Basic Principles of Ergonomics
  • Work in a neutral position. ...
  • Decrease the need for excessive force. ...
  • Keep materials within easy reach. ...
  • Work at the proper height. ...
  • Reduce unnecessary motions. ...
  • Minimize fatigue caused by static load. ...
  • Minimize contact stress. ...
  • Leave adequate clearance.

What does the term ergonomically designed mean? ›

Something that is designed to work smoothly with the human body is designed to be ergonomic. If your fingers ache after using the computer, you may need an ergonomic keyboard.

What are 5 ergonomics features? ›

There are five aspects of ergonomics: safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity/performance, and aesthetics. Ergonomics is a science concerned with the 'fit' between people and their work.

Why is ergonomics important in the workplace? ›

Implementing ergonomic solutions can make employees more comfortable and increase productivity. Why is ergonomics important? Ergonomics is important because when you're doing a job and your body is stressed by an awkward posture, extreme temperature, or repeated movement your musculoskeletal system is affected.

Why is ergonomics important in our daily life? ›

Habits formed in our daily activities like staring at the computer, cradling the phone, slouching in a chair or even just carrying groceries can create painful body conditions. These conditions can be helped or prevented by incorporating good ergonomic techniques into daily routines and work sites.

What is the first principle of ergonomics? ›

Principle 1.

Neutral postures are postures where the body is aligned and balanced while either sitting or standing, placing minimal stress on the body and keeping joints aligned. Neutral postures minimize the stress applied to muscles, tendons, nerves and bones and allows for maximum control and force production.

What is an ergonomic workplace? ›

What is Workplace Ergonomics? Workplace ergonomics attempts to reduce strain, fatigue and injuries by improving product design and workspace arrangements, such as properly positing your chair, keyboard and monitor.

What are the 4 steps in computer ergonomics? ›

Follow these easy steps to help set up your computer workstation.
  1. Step 1: Chair. Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair. ...
  2. Step 2: Keyboard. An articulating keyboard tray can provide optimal positioning of input devices. ...
  3. Step 3: Monitor, Documents, and Telephone. ...
  4. Step 4: Pauses and Breaks.

How do you use ergonomic in a sentence? ›

How to use Ergonomic in a sentence. Our engineers are paid to design our products with an ergonomic style in mind, for added comfort. Richard has been searching for the perfect ergonomic desk chair to help ease his back pain. It has an angled head and an ergonomic design and is easy to use.

What is another word for ergonomic? ›

What is another word for ergonomic?
intuitiveconvenient
untroublesomehandy
manageablewieldy
user friendlyuser-friendly
easily operatedeasy to use
59 more rows

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