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Anthropometrics, Human
Factors & Ergonomics
Technological Design
What are Human Factors,
Ergonomics & Anthropometrics?
Anthropometrics
• Anthropometrics;
Anthropometrics is the data which concerns the
dimensions of human beings.
• Designers need to makes sure that the products they
design are the right size for the user and therefore
comfortable to use. Designers have access to books of
drawings like these which state measurements of human
beings of all sizes.
• Examples at work…
Knowing about percentiles is an important part of becoming a responsible designer.
Human Factors
• Human Factors;
Human factors involves the study of all aspects of the
way humans relate to the world around them, with the
aim of improving operational performance, safety,
through life costs and/or adoption through improvement
in the experience of the end user.
• The science of understanding the properties of human
capability (Human Factors Science).
• Examples at work…
Did you know that the U.S. military is responsible for the majority of data on
Human Factors!
It was a result out of WWII aircraft design and engineering.
Ergonomics
• Ergonomics;
•

Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with designing according to
the human needs, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data
and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall
system performance. The field is also called human engineering, and
human factors engineering.

•

Ergonomic research is primarily performed by ergonomists, who study
human capabilities in relationship to their work demands. Information
derived from ergonomists contributes to the design and evaluation of tasks,
jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them
compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people

•

Examples at work..
A poorly designed work station can produce long term medical conditions.
Why should designers be aware of
anthropometrics, human factors and
ergonomics?
• Allows designers to accommodate various percentiles of
the population so the majority of people can use and
interact with the product or service being designed.

• Designers must be aware of human factors,
anthropometrics and ergonomics to ensure their product
or service is safe and socially responsible. (designing
public places is especially sensitive to these conditions)
The Impact of Human Factors,
Ergonomics & Anthropometry on Design
• A designer can use Human Factors,
Ergonomics & Anthropometry to their
advantage or these things may work
against their design. Good design
observes these qualities first because no
one wants to use or own a product or
service which carries out the task poorly or
dangerously.
Consider the following….
• A Toilet designed by a fashion designer
Fashion designers work to a fantasy of
what the human body looks like. They are
taught how to draw human figures in a
distorted, idealized way.
The impact designers can have
on society;
• The two figures in the middle are typical of
fashion design drawings. Designs are based on
these oddly proportioned, fantasy, body shapes.
• The figures on either side were statistical
averages from a series of anthropometrics
studies done with US military personnel. Whilst
limited to a select age range and profession,
these nonetheless are based on measurable
and observable reality. These are real body
shapes. ( From Human Dimension & Interior
Space by Julius Panero and Martin Zelnilk)
As illustrated in the two middle sketches of the human form.
The Result
• If a product designer were to work off the same
fantasy body shapes that fashion designers do,
a typical toilet would look like this.
• None of us would willingly climb a stepladder
every time we need to use our toilet - how silly
would that be? And yet, why is it that we
continue to try and fit into clothes that were not
designed for our bodies to begin with, or shoes
that are uncomfortable and damage our feet?
• This is most peculiar.
The result is a tall, narrow and most uncomfortable toilet.
Where can we find information on body
sizes, shapes, standard furniture sizes,
etc.?
• Human Factor Texts
• Resource Manuals
• Internet
• Making your own anthropometric data
Henry Dreyfuss, one of America’s first
Industrial Designers was instrumental in
using human dimensions to
Improve the products people interact with
on a daily basis.
Henry Dreyfuss; One of America’s First
Industrial Designers
• Dreyfuss was born in Brooklyn, New York. As
one of the celebrity industrial designers of the
1930s and 1940s, Dreyfuss dramatically
improved the look, feel, and usability of dozens
of consumer products. As opposed to Raymond
Loewy and other contemporaries, Dreyfuss was
not a stylist: he applied common sense and a
scientific approach to design problems. His work
both popularized the field for public
consumption, and made significant contributions
to the underlying fields of ergonomics,
anthropometrics, and human factors.
Some of Dreyfuss’ Designs...

Did you know that John Deere hired Dreyfuss to “Modernize” the look of the
tractor.
What do we do with all of this data
on the human form?
• In the first slide we observed that there are individual
differences in human characteristics. These follow a
normal distribution. This is true with anthropometric
measurements.
• You may have heard the expression "to design for the
5th percentile female to the 95th percentile male." This
means that for the selected anthropometric measure,
such as height, the lower limit of our range is the height
of a 5th percentile female and the upper limit is the
height of a 95th percentile male. This range
accommodates 90% of the population for that one
selected measure.
Population Variance
• We again use the concept of "population." This
is important in anthropometrics as there are
differences in size and body segment
proportions due to age, gender, and ethnicity.
So, to properly select the data to use, we must
know something about our population
composition, and we must know what
percentage of the population we wish to
accommodate. The anthropometric range will
be much different if we are designing products
for male, professional basketball players than if
we are designing for the general public.
Application of the Anthropometric Data
• In choosing the proper anthropometric
measurements to use, we must know not only
the user population, but also the specific
application or design problem. If we are
designing overhead luggage racks for public
transportation, accommodating 90% of the rider
population is probably sufficient. However, if we
are determining the position of an emergency
button, we should design to accommodate 99%
of the rider population, including wheelchair
users.
A Guide to Designing with Human
Factors in mind.
Step 1. Understand Organizational/Mission Need
Step 2.Understand and Define Context of Use
Step 3.Perform Function Analysis
Step 4.Allocate Functions
Step 5.Analyze and Design Tasks
Step 6.Design Human-to-System Interfaces &
Workstations
User/Human-Centered Design Steps
References, Resources & Links
•
•

http://www.ergonomics4schools.com/lzone/anthropometry.htm
www.baddesigns.com
(a great website to help illustrate bad design when thinking of
human factors)
• http://www.k-state.edu/udlearnsite/Lesson4.htm
• http://www.hf.faa.gov/Webtraining/HFModel/Variance/anthropometri
cs1.htm
(an excellent site with a quiz)
• http://www.sil.si.edu/exhibitions/doodles/cf/convincing.cfm

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Human factors and ergonomics and anthropometrics

  • 1. Anthropometrics, Human Factors & Ergonomics Technological Design
  • 2. What are Human Factors, Ergonomics & Anthropometrics?
  • 3. Anthropometrics • Anthropometrics; Anthropometrics is the data which concerns the dimensions of human beings. • Designers need to makes sure that the products they design are the right size for the user and therefore comfortable to use. Designers have access to books of drawings like these which state measurements of human beings of all sizes. • Examples at work…
  • 4. Knowing about percentiles is an important part of becoming a responsible designer.
  • 5. Human Factors • Human Factors; Human factors involves the study of all aspects of the way humans relate to the world around them, with the aim of improving operational performance, safety, through life costs and/or adoption through improvement in the experience of the end user. • The science of understanding the properties of human capability (Human Factors Science). • Examples at work…
  • 6. Did you know that the U.S. military is responsible for the majority of data on Human Factors! It was a result out of WWII aircraft design and engineering.
  • 7. Ergonomics • Ergonomics; • Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with designing according to the human needs, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. The field is also called human engineering, and human factors engineering. • Ergonomic research is primarily performed by ergonomists, who study human capabilities in relationship to their work demands. Information derived from ergonomists contributes to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people • Examples at work..
  • 8. A poorly designed work station can produce long term medical conditions.
  • 9. Why should designers be aware of anthropometrics, human factors and ergonomics? • Allows designers to accommodate various percentiles of the population so the majority of people can use and interact with the product or service being designed. • Designers must be aware of human factors, anthropometrics and ergonomics to ensure their product or service is safe and socially responsible. (designing public places is especially sensitive to these conditions)
  • 10. The Impact of Human Factors, Ergonomics & Anthropometry on Design • A designer can use Human Factors, Ergonomics & Anthropometry to their advantage or these things may work against their design. Good design observes these qualities first because no one wants to use or own a product or service which carries out the task poorly or dangerously.
  • 11. Consider the following…. • A Toilet designed by a fashion designer Fashion designers work to a fantasy of what the human body looks like. They are taught how to draw human figures in a distorted, idealized way.
  • 12. The impact designers can have on society; • The two figures in the middle are typical of fashion design drawings. Designs are based on these oddly proportioned, fantasy, body shapes. • The figures on either side were statistical averages from a series of anthropometrics studies done with US military personnel. Whilst limited to a select age range and profession, these nonetheless are based on measurable and observable reality. These are real body shapes. ( From Human Dimension & Interior Space by Julius Panero and Martin Zelnilk)
  • 13. As illustrated in the two middle sketches of the human form.
  • 14. The Result • If a product designer were to work off the same fantasy body shapes that fashion designers do, a typical toilet would look like this. • None of us would willingly climb a stepladder every time we need to use our toilet - how silly would that be? And yet, why is it that we continue to try and fit into clothes that were not designed for our bodies to begin with, or shoes that are uncomfortable and damage our feet? • This is most peculiar.
  • 15. The result is a tall, narrow and most uncomfortable toilet.
  • 16. Where can we find information on body sizes, shapes, standard furniture sizes, etc.? • Human Factor Texts • Resource Manuals • Internet • Making your own anthropometric data Henry Dreyfuss, one of America’s first Industrial Designers was instrumental in using human dimensions to Improve the products people interact with on a daily basis.
  • 17. Henry Dreyfuss; One of America’s First Industrial Designers • Dreyfuss was born in Brooklyn, New York. As one of the celebrity industrial designers of the 1930s and 1940s, Dreyfuss dramatically improved the look, feel, and usability of dozens of consumer products. As opposed to Raymond Loewy and other contemporaries, Dreyfuss was not a stylist: he applied common sense and a scientific approach to design problems. His work both popularized the field for public consumption, and made significant contributions to the underlying fields of ergonomics, anthropometrics, and human factors.
  • 18. Some of Dreyfuss’ Designs... Did you know that John Deere hired Dreyfuss to “Modernize” the look of the tractor.
  • 19. What do we do with all of this data on the human form? • In the first slide we observed that there are individual differences in human characteristics. These follow a normal distribution. This is true with anthropometric measurements. • You may have heard the expression "to design for the 5th percentile female to the 95th percentile male." This means that for the selected anthropometric measure, such as height, the lower limit of our range is the height of a 5th percentile female and the upper limit is the height of a 95th percentile male. This range accommodates 90% of the population for that one selected measure.
  • 20.
  • 21. Population Variance • We again use the concept of "population." This is important in anthropometrics as there are differences in size and body segment proportions due to age, gender, and ethnicity. So, to properly select the data to use, we must know something about our population composition, and we must know what percentage of the population we wish to accommodate. The anthropometric range will be much different if we are designing products for male, professional basketball players than if we are designing for the general public.
  • 22. Application of the Anthropometric Data • In choosing the proper anthropometric measurements to use, we must know not only the user population, but also the specific application or design problem. If we are designing overhead luggage racks for public transportation, accommodating 90% of the rider population is probably sufficient. However, if we are determining the position of an emergency button, we should design to accommodate 99% of the rider population, including wheelchair users.
  • 23.
  • 24. A Guide to Designing with Human Factors in mind. Step 1. Understand Organizational/Mission Need Step 2.Understand and Define Context of Use Step 3.Perform Function Analysis Step 4.Allocate Functions Step 5.Analyze and Design Tasks Step 6.Design Human-to-System Interfaces & Workstations
  • 26. References, Resources & Links • • http://www.ergonomics4schools.com/lzone/anthropometry.htm www.baddesigns.com (a great website to help illustrate bad design when thinking of human factors) • http://www.k-state.edu/udlearnsite/Lesson4.htm • http://www.hf.faa.gov/Webtraining/HFModel/Variance/anthropometri cs1.htm (an excellent site with a quiz) • http://www.sil.si.edu/exhibitions/doodles/cf/convincing.cfm