Friday, September 24, 2010

Reflection - Prototype

1. What are the difficulties that you have encountered during the process?
I had problems thinking of a good design for my product in order for it to work properly, and for the mechanism to not be broken after a short period of use.

2. How do you overcome the difficulties encountered?
I ensured that the mechanism was off the ground and would not get crushed when the walking stick is being leaned on.

3. What are the 2 key takeaways for this lesson?
I learned that there are many points to think about when designing a product, and how to test out products and collect data after testing products.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ergonomics (Product description and Idea Trigger)

1) Take a picture of the product.

2) Post the picture and answer the questions as follows.
(i) Describe the product.
This product is a natural toothbrush. It is made of wood shaped like a stick. It is brown in colour, with rough texture. The toothbrush is used by brushing your teeth with the edge of it. Then, the edge is cut off to be able to be used again.
(ii) What are the design considerations when designing this product?
It has to be waterproof so in will not have any mould, less rough so the elderly will not cut themselves, and whether it can be cut easily.
(iii) Would an elderly faced difficulty using this product? If yes, what are the difficulties that the elderly would face?
They may have problems cutting it because of weaker muscles, and they may cut themselves if the toothbrush is too rough.
(iv) What do you think can be done to improve on the design of the product to suit the elderly? (Sketch the improved design in your sketchbook and take a picture of it. Post the improved sketch at the end of your post.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ergonomics 2

1) Ergonomics is the study of people's efficiency in their working environment.

2) The five aspects of ergonomics are:
- comfort
- ease of use
- productivity/performance
- safety
- aesthetics

3) Comfort: Massage chairs massage the
elderly for their comfort.

Ease of use: Some handphones have larger words and larger keys so the elderly can see better.

Productivity/performance: Positions of items the elderly normally use should be placed strategically so it will help them do their tasks more quickly.

Safety: There are handrails for most stairs and toilets for the elderly to hold on to in case they fall.

Aesthetics: Signs that are bigger, brighter, and clearer so the elderly can read them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ergonomics 1

For the first issue, the worker in workplace 1, his chair cannot have it height adjusted properly. He has to sit on it for long periods of time, and I can tell that he is very uncomfortable from his actions. In workplace 2, the worker's 'liberty chair' can have its height adjusted properly, can let him sit comfortably, and has a mechanism to allow the user to lean back.
For the second issue, the worker at workplace 1 has many difficulties looking at the computer screen which is far away even with his glasses as he is leaning towards the screen and squinting. The worker in workplace 2 however, has no problem with that as he has the 'M7 monitor arm' which allows him to shift the screen closer to him.
For the third issue, the worker in workplace 1 has table lamps which are too bright, so he cannot see the screen clearly. When he switches it off, it will be to dim. If he tries to reposition it, the lamp will be to hot for him to touch. The worker in workplace 2 has a lamp which is bright, but will only cover a small area, so the light is enough to let him see his paperwork, and will not be too bright and cause him to not be able to see the screen clearly.
For the fourth issue, the worker in workplace 1 is sitting in a chair which is not giving him much space for his hands to move about to type. I can tell he is uncomfortable as his facial expression clearly shows it. However, the worker in workplace 2 is sitting in a 'freedom chair' instead. The freedom chair allows worker 2 to have space for his hands to move around, and when he wants to rest his arms, there is an armrest which can be lifted up so he can use it. The chair also can allow him to lean back and relax when he is tired. He is clearly very comfortable and happy from the looks of his actions facial expression.
For the fifth issue, the worker in workplace 1 is very uncomfortable working on his laptop and is fidgeting and trying to find the perfect position to place his laptop and do his work. However, the worker in workplace 2 is perfectly fine and comfortable as he is using the 'L2 laptop holder', which allows him to put his laptop in a position of a personal computer, which is obviously more comfortable for him.
For the final issue, the worker in workplace 1 has a table that is filled with all his work, and is all messy, so he cannot find a space to do his work. His expression shows that he is frustrated. When he gets a small space, he accidentally knocks down his coffee. However, the worker in workplace 2 has a railing which can keep all or most of his stuff, so his table will have space for him to do his work.
I would choose workplace 2 over workplace 1 as it is more spacious, comfortable, makes things easier to do, and it is very user-friendly.
The considerations that should be taken into place are that whether the user will be able to concentrate in that environment, whether the user will be comfortable, and whether the user can have enough space to move.
Ergonomics is important as it helps to make people perform better in their work if the item or place is designed properly.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Elderly challenge observation 4

For my final observation, I observed that the elderly have many problems when they take public transportation such as buses and MRTs.

Firstly, there are some commuters who are lazy or do not care for other older people. So, they pretend to be asleep or busy with something like reading when the see elderly boarding. This causes the elderly to may not be able to find seats, so they will have to stand. If the bus or train suddenly jerks, they will fall and may injure them severely. So, we all have to be more considerate to elderly and give up our seats to them as they are much weaker and easier to fall.

The government should educate the public more and parents should start cultivating that habit in their children too. This will then ensure that the elderly will have a better time travelling in public transportation.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Elderly Challenge Observation 3

For my third observation, I observed that my grandparents staying at my home take very long to cook a simple meal. They cannot stay at the stove to stand and cook food there for long periods of time as their legs are much weaker than ours. So, they will take breaks and sit at the sofa when the food is cooking.
Sometimes, they forget about it and it ends up overflowing or being burnt.
This can be dangerous for elderly who stay alone as if they fall asleep while the food is cooking, something may happen and cause a fire, which will endanger not only themselves but their neighbours too.

Elderly challenge observation 2

For my second observation, I observed elderly around my neighbourhood have problems walking, including my grandparents.
The elderly will have many problems with their body, such as:
- joint problems
- brittle bones
- weak muscles
These problems will affect them a lot as they will move from one place to another much slower, and that will cause them to waste more time. Then, if they walk down stairs, it will be much easier to fall and be seriously injured
Moving around is a very big problem, so there should be more railings and less steep steps at places where elderly go more often.