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July 24, 2013 / Zircon Corporation

Does Your Product Fit In…Ergonomically Speaking

The science of ergonomics studies how people and their work fit together.  Ergonomics creates comfort and efficiency.  An ergonomist thinks about how a function is completed and what is required by the worker, the equipment’s size, shape and appropriateness for the task and how the information is used for the task.  An ergonomically designed item is considered a good fit.

Is a product ergonomically designed?

Ask yourself form, fit and function questions to determine if it’s ergonomic.

Zircon Swivel grip

Is the product comfortable and efficient?

Does it feel comfortable?  Comfort is defined by the product’s physical attributes and mental aspects.  The more pleasing the product’s physical aesthetics, the more likely you will use the product.  The designer’s goal is to provide an intuitive design that promotes the product’s hands-on experience.  Your comfort correlates to how often you will use the product.  The more engaged you are with the product, the more utility the product provides.  Comfort, as part of a high quality design, is critical to a product’s success within the marketplace.  An uncomfortable design would not promote the product’s usage and can lead to the product’s eventual demise.

The form factor of the product makes a difference.  When you pick up the product, does it have the weight, look and feel that you envision?  A comfortable design can conform to your hand, feel light, yet durable and require less personal exertion than a poorly designed competitive product.

Is it efficient?  Does the product make it easier to perform a task or series of tasks?  Perhaps the product is more efficient because it reduces the number of steps or parts required. You can evaluate the skill involved because if it is intuitive, the product may not require as much instruction or skill.  If the product is user friendly, this will increase its efficiency.  The more efficient the design, the more useful the product is.  If it takes a PhD to understand the product, it might be time to evaluate an alternative product.

How can you make sure a product is ergonomically designed before purchase?

  • Try the product.  New products often have a demo in-store.
  • Is it easy to use?  When you pick up the product, do you intuitively have an idea of how it works?  Does it feel “right”?
  • Conduct research.  Review customer online reviews and competitive products.
  • An ergonomically designed product may not always be the perfect fit for you.  However, do not settle for a product that feels flimsy.
  • A more complex product will involve some amount of instruction.  In this case, do a cost versus risk analysis to see if the investment in time and money meets or exceeds your expectation of the product’s function.

What are the benefits of an ergonomic product?

An ergonomically designed tool saves you time and money.  It can simplify a task and make you more effective, faster and agile.  The product should work within the human body structure without causing increased stress.

Zircon stud finders ~ ergonomics in use

From the first moment you pick them up, the Zircon StudSensorTM e50 deep-scanning stud finder and StudSensorTM e40 stud finder fit well in your hand and make scanning easy.  They have a patented pivot pinch grip and rubber overmold that allow an easy way to hold the tools in use from any angle.

The StudSensor™ e50 quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and ceilings.

The StudSensor™ e50 quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and ceilings.

For more information and tips, visit www.zircon.com or see the Zircon Tip Minutes. Zircon Corporation offers center-finding stud finders that are also capable for scanning for metal and electrical, in addition to the edge-finding line consisting of the entry-level StudSensorTM EDGE, e30, e40 and e50.

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