Ergonomics from Ethnography: Inclusive Design Insights

DESIGN CHANGE

P.J. White

Abstract

As user centred design methods become more important for inclusive design, designers increasingly use methods borrowed from other disciplines such as Ethnography to gain insights into user behaviour. But what are the advantages in using ethnography to understand ergonomic requirements? And what form of insights does it result in? This paper offers findings and reflections from a design ethnographic case study of older people. It found that advantages in using ethnography lies in the depth and breadth of findings, resulting in a broad range of ergonomic and usability insights, and a deep understanding of lead users.

Keywords.

inclusive design, user centred design, usability, older people, aging, ageing, lead users, product design, anthropology, ethnographic research

Introduction

Since the 1960s, inclusive and universal design approaches have offered designers strong guidelines to ensure that they include the greatest extent of users (Mace, 1997). These guidelines are commonly used as the…

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