Ergonomics done right.®
March 21st, 2013

Live from the Applied Ergonomics Conference: Stand-up Ergonomics

by Greg Cresswell, CPE

This week, at the Applied Ergonomics Conference in Dallas,  I attended several excellent presentations spanning a variety of topics.  One talk that really stood out to me was “Stand-up Ergonomics: Communicating Human Factors to Designers and the Public” by Rob Tannen, PhD, CPE from Bresslergroup.

I attended this presentation thinking that this would be another talk on standing workstations, and I was interested to hear the commentary from a design perspective.  However, I was pleasantly surprised when I quickly realized that the title “Stand-up” was a play on words.  The title was a double entendre referring to “Stand-up” as in, “He’s a really stand-up guy”, meaning reliable and trustworthy.  At the other end of the spectrum, “Stand-up” is referring to stand-up comedy, as in a joke.

Tannen called out several companies who advertise their products as the best in the market from a usability standpoint.  Why are they the best?  Because they said so.  They didn’t have a solid foundation for why their design is the best, other than it just is.  In other words, these products were more or less a joke.

On the flip side, stand-up companies not only have great designs, but they are also able to simply convey to the public how great their product is and why. Like in this commercial by Apple for the iPhone 5.

Were you at the conference this week? Which presentations stood out to you and why?