1 x 60-minute lecture weekly
1 x 120-minute workshop weekly
1 DSGN1102 - Design Communication
2 DSGN2722 - Design Methods
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Topic description

Ergonomics and User Centered Design, involves the application of scientific knowledge about human capabilities and limitations to design. Anthropometry is a component of ergonomics that involves the measurement of human scale and strength. Ergonomics and anthropometry play a fundamental role in the Bachelor of Design and Technology Innovation.

The scale and capabilities of humans provides critical guidelines for the successful development of product and interface designs. Through the appropriate application of data, designers can create products that are efficient and effective to use. This topic introduces the various measures of both efficiency and scale, and informs students where to find and how to set about interpreting scientific data.

Navigating a future in which constant technological change and disruption is the new norm, requires that we must constantly evaluate the impacts that technology ultimately places on its various users.

Ergonomics is the process of designing technological artefacts, environments and systems so that they fit the people who use them. It is a branch of science that aims to inform designers about human abilities and limitations, and then apply this learning to improve people's interaction with technology. As technologies evolve, so too does the need to ensure that the tools we access for work, rest and play are designed to meet our body's requirements.

Ergonomics and User Centred Design develops student's capacity to create safe, comfortable and productive products, systems and environments, by bringing human abilities and limitations into the design technology while considering a user's age, gender, capacity, body size, strength, skill, speed, sensory abilities (vision, hearing), and attitudes.

Educational aims

The topic aims to provide students with ability, knowledge and skills in:

  • History and definitions of Ergonomics, Anthropometrics and User Centred Design
  • Basic ergonomics, the relationship of objects to humans and understanding of basic considerations related to human/object/machine/environment interaction when designing for human use
  • Introduction to design methods for gathering and interpreting ergonomic information for design development purposes
  • Usability and principles of User Centred Design
    Expected learning outcomes
    On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

    1. Access, compile, interpret and apply relevant ergonomic and anthropometric data
    2. Understand the fundamental issues involved with interface design
    3. Understand issues surrounding product safety
    4. Understand factors controlling user comfort
    5. Understand usability and user centred design
    6. Understand techniques used to evaluate tasks, productivity and performance
    7. Understand issues informing product aesthetics and perception
    8. Conduct ergonomic research
    9. Apply user centred testing methods and principles
    10. Develop product designs in a systems context, taking into account cognitive, social and behavioural human factors
    11. Report on design progress through drawings, presentations and prototypes appropriately and professionally