Ergonomics in Product Design: Everything You Need to Know

You’ve probably heard the term “ergonomic” thrown around throughout the years, but have you ever stopped to delve into the specifics surrounding its meaning? Ergonomics refers to the process of arranging or designing products, workspaces, and systems in a manner that accommodates the individuals who use them.

In other words, to be considered ergonomic, the product or workplace must be constructed in a way that optimizes comfort and is tailored specifically to a person’s needs. Whether it’s a chair or a keyboard – it must aim to increase productivity and efficiency while minimizing discomfort.

Implementing ergonomics into one’s workspace will effectively improve workflow. There are a myriad of instances in which people are forced to step away from a product or workstation because it’s not designed with safety or efficiency in mind. 

Why Is Ergonomics Important?

As Dr. Pragyan Paramita Mohanty states, “Embedding ergonomic consideration into product/machine/equipment/component design as well as work environment taking into account both psychological and physical needs of the user helps to enhance user efficiency, satisfaction, and productivity.”

Tips for Designing Ergonomic Products

Businesses across the globe are realizing the benefits of employing strong ergonomics in their product designs. Here are several tips for maximizing the use of ergonomics in your product design and development.

Keep Ergonomics In Mind When Designing 

Rather than an afterthought, ergonomics should be prioritized and incorporated into the design process in the early stages. Why? Look at it from this perspective: let’s say you’re designing a kitchen appliance for consumers. After conducting market research and creating a prototype, you discover the appliance causes physical discomfort and could negatively impact end-user safety during the testing stage. That means you’ve essentially squandered valuable time, dollars, and resources on an ineffective product that will never go to market. 

Who Is Your Target Audience?

It’s imperative to gain an in-depth understanding of your intended target audience before designing a product. For instance, a product crafted for the medical community will require completely different considerations than one designed for toddlers. From your audience’s specific needs to their physical capabilities, entering the product design process from an ergonomics vantage point will ensure you create a product that’s effective, drives results, and doesn’t cause any harm to your audience.

What Do Competitors’ Designs Look Like?

Competitive research offers a way for your company to procure valuable insight into how others in your industry are incorporating ergonomics in their product designs. Which products were successful and why? Which products fell short? You can utilize learnings to enhance and customize your design in a way that will appeal to your consumer base. 

What Have Been Previous Complaints?

Have there been problems with previous designs? What are your customers saying? Deploying regular surveys is a great way to collect data regarding what your customers like, dislike, or would like to see from you in future design iterations – especially when it comes to physical and psychological comfort. These findings will ultimately shape how you approach future product designs. 

Does Your Team Understand Ergonomics?

Even though ergonomics has been around for 50+ years, not everyone is well-versed in the field of ergonomics. Making sure your team understands ergonomics will help facilitate a more streamlined and results-driven design process.

CHOI Design understands the importance of ergonomics in product design and promises that we’ll keep your comfort in mind when designing products that satisfy your intended goals. Request a free quote today!