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Anthropometrics, Human Factors & Ergonomics


Anthropometrics, Human Factors & Ergonomics Technological Design * What are Human Factors, Ergonomics & Anthropometrics? Anthropometrics Anthropometrics ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Anthropometrics, Human Factors & Ergonomics

Anthropometrics, Human Factors Ergonomics
  • Technological Design

What are Human Factors, Ergonomics
  • 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 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 Americas first Industrial
Designers was instrumental in using human
dimensions to Improve the products people
interact with on a daily basis.
Henry Dreyfuss One of Americas First Industrial
  • 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

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
  • 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.

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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

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.

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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

User/Human-Centered Design Steps
References, Resources Links
  • http//
  • (a great website to help illustrate bad design
    when thinking of human factors)
  • http//
  • http//
  • (an excellent site with a quiz)
  • http//
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