Accommodating Different Sizes Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
by Michael Hoonhorst, CPE
As an ergonomist, I often get asked the question, “Who should we design work for?” Many people think the correct response is “the average person”. But really, the best answer is to design for adjustability, to fit a wide range of the population (like the seat in your car.)
On occasion, we may design for the average. Drinking fountains, since they are used in public places for short durations, are usually designed for the average-size person. Recently, I was surprised to see this at the Houston airport. Several drinking fountains at varying heights to fit different sizes of people was really cool to see. The key takeaway is that designing for a range of people is optimal and it CAN be done!