Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ergonomics (Product description and Idea Trigger) [My design]

This is the cork screw. The rectangle on the bottom right is the cap to cover the sharp end. The handle is now changed to a rubber texture and made thicker. So that it gives the user a firmer grip when opening the bottle. Around the gears there, now it is coated with a rubber coating so that the user can hold it for support when turning the screw into the cork. It is as when screwing it in, the gears will move. And if there is no coating, it will pinch the user's fingers and may hurt the user badly. For the middle, now there is a plastic cover to cover it so that when turning, wont hurt the fingers etc. On the metal parts at the end, can just making thicker and carve some lines on top to make it easier to either push or pull. We make the opening longer so as to cover the sharp part of the screw. We can also put a stopper at the end as the handles are too easy to move around. So might move it around when not needed. That's why with the stopper, the user just have to unlock it to be able to use. It is more safe.

Ergonomics (Product description and Idea Trigger)

[Figure 1.1 - the top part of the cork screwer]
[Figure 1.2 - the whole product]

2i) Describe the product (Appearance, Colour, Function, etc)

This is a cork screwer and it is used to loosen corks of the beer bottle to open them. It is made of steel and plastic, the steel is silver and the plastic is a lighter shade of hot pink. It is very light and has sharp edges. The pink part is translucent so that can see a bit of how the things work within. [refer to figure 1.2]

2ii) What are the design considerations when designing this product?

When designing this product, they made sure that it is light and easy to use. They thought of that the cork poking out is only a small portion so it'll be hard to have a good grip over it and pull it out.

2iii) Would an elderly faced difficulty using this product? If yes, what are the difficulties that the elderly would face?

Yes. Even though it is light, portable & easy to use, but there will still be flaws. The product is too exposed, the sharp edges are exposed wide out, so it is easy for the elderly to hurt themselves. the metal part is also too thin, it is hard to get a good grip over it. Plus thin metal hurts more than the thick metal or other material. [refer to figure 1.1]

2iv) What do you think can be done to improve on the design of the product to suit the elderly? [Sketch the improved design in your sketchbook (now just the paper provided) and take a picture of it. Post the improved sketch at the end of your post.]

I think that it can be improved by making the metal handle bigger and wider, plus adding a rubber grip to it. Have hard plastic container-like material to warp around the metal parts and makes it harder to hurt themselves. the spiral just keep it in a container and only comes out when it is turned.

[The sketch will be in another post to make it easier]

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ergonomics II

1. What is Ergonomics?
It is the study of people's efficiency in their working environment.

2. What are the 5 aspects of Ergonomics?
They are: Safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity/performance and aesthetics.

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: they have railings at the side of the walkway for the elderly to support themselves, preventing the risk of them falling down.
Comfort: Adjustable beds makes it easier for the elderly who is bed-bound. They can then lift up the bed without even getting the elderly to sit up and adjust all the pillows and such.
Ease of use: They have wheelchairs for them to move more easily around the area.
Productivity/performance: The walking stick enables them to move around even though they do not have much strength in their legs.
Aesthetics: Make sure most of the things look the same. For example, if the pens are being shared around (a public pen), then make sure all of them look the same, so that the elderly will not mistaken someone else's pen as the public pen and take it home or something.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ergonomics I - Group Summary

Consolidated points:

State your observations


  • Chair not adjustable to lean back (discomfort)
  • Computer too far away (strain eyes)
  • Lighting too bright & Conducts heat from the bulb easily (lamp cannot be moved or adjusted)
  • Too much things on the table (untidy)
  • Cannot move around or rest comfortably
  • Angle of view from the laptop is too low (strains his neck, need to find something extra to suit his comfort)
  • Things on the table are left untidily (occupies unneeded space and cannot find the things that he needs)
  • Cramp seat (harder to move around on the seat)
  • Puts the keyboard on the table (takes up unnecessary space)
  • Armrests are high, which does not provide the use of an armrest.


  • Chair goes along with the person when he leans back or goes in front (saving the hassle and comfort)
  • Chair adjustable to height and depth.
  • Chair is easy to move forward and lift it higher (suitable for the eye view)
  • Lamp is adjustable and has a small platform (easier to move towards a suitable place)
  • Not too bright (does not generate as much heat and based on the video, probably does not generate heat on the outer layer of the whole lamp)
  • Little things on the table (neat and can relax comfortably)
  • Special laptop holder to adjust height of the laptop holder and can connect a keyboard to type)
  • There is an “Access Rail” where many things can be kept on that rail (neat and tidy)
  • Wide seat (easier to move around in the seat)
  • Has a sliding platform below the table to put the keyboard (saves space on the table)
  • Armrests are adjustable (fulfill its uses and makes it more convenient)

Work place preferred and why:

Teoh Yun:

The man on the right has a neat, comforting and more space environment compared to the man on the left which has a messy table and an uncomfortable chair.


Workplace 2 is much better than workplace 1. Some considerations are the body, whether it has a 90 degrees angle of the knees, wrists and back straight when typing and no neck strain. It is better to have a learning environment to work or study.


The second workplace is definitely better. The reasons are that they provide much better desk instruments that provide comfort and easy working. It gives a very good workflow that improves productivity of any staff using that work desk. e.g the chair has adjustable armrests so when you need to take a sip of drink from your mug, it can be lifted up and the best part is that you can lean down.

Su En:

The 2nd workplace is better as the chair can lean backwards, there is enough space on the chair, the armrests can be adjusted makes it very comfortable compared to the 1st workplace’s lousy chair. The 1st workplace’s armrests are too high and is unable to adjust the height well. plus the seat is camp and he can barely do his work well. Plus the lightings at the 2nd’s work place are too bright and are pointing in the wrong direction making it hard to work well and at the 2nd work place, the direction of the light and computer can be adjusted in terms of height and distance while the 1st workplace cant.

Considerations that should be taken:

  • Take note of the item’s function
  • The user’s comfort
  • Feasible to use at a certain place
  • 90 degrees angle of the knees, wrists and back straight when typing
  • No neck strain
  • Comfort and Simplicity
  • Incorrect Height and Depth
  • Task Lighting
  • Freedom of Movement
  • Prolonged Laptop use
  • easy to use
  • Durable
  • More convenient

Why is Ergonomics important when designing:

Su En:

Compare various workplaces and find out the differences and how it benefits the user and how it creates some inconvenience to them. This way you can design your product to be better and create the selling points to the companies.


It is important to have a better learning environment to work or study.

Teoh Yun:

The efficiency of the worker also depends on the comfort of the workplace.


It is important because the Ergonomics of a product can determine the safety of a person because a person can get injured if proper ergonomics are not in place in the office etc. it can also provide a proper posture for whoever is using the product.

Ergonomics I

1. Compare the 2 different workplaces, state your observations.

Let's give them each a name first, so it is easier to identify them. Let's take the guy on the right Dan and the guy on the Danny. Dan's work place is neat and tidy, with his things properly arranged, the keyboard put on a sliding platform underneath his table and have various gadgets that makes his life easier for him. While in Danny's work place, his keyboard is on the table and he has a cramp seat, making it harder to work and increases his discomfort.

2. Which workplace is preferred? State with reasons why one workplace is preferred over the other.

I prefer Dan's work place. The chair can lean backwards, there is enough space on the chair, the arm rests can be adjusted makes it very comfortable compared to Danny's lousy chair. Danny's chair's arm rests are too high, and it is unable to adjust the height. Plus the seat is very cramp, he can barely do his work well. Plus the lightings at Danny's work place are too bright and are pointing in the wrong direction, making it hard to work well and Dan's work place there, you can adjust the direction of the light and the computer can be adjusted in terms of height and distance while Danny's work place's computer cant.

3. What are the considerations that should be taken into account when designing a workplace that is suitable for the user?

Make sure that it is comfortable, either reduce or add some various features, and remember to make it easy to use, durable, or makes the life easier by making it more convenient to use.

4. Why do you think that Ergonomics is important when designing?

You can compare the various work places and find out the differences and how does it benefits the user and how it creates some inconvenience to them. This way, you can design your product to be better and create the selling points to the companies.