Ergonomics done right.®
April 17th, 2008

The impact of good design…


Design improvements in the workplace garner a lot of attention because of improved safey for workers, productivity or quality gains, or cost-savings.

In fact, many companies and organizations have begun to formally recognize peoples’ efforts through internal competitions (e.g., GE, Johnson & Johnson, and Caterpillar) or through public competitions (Humantech’s Find It-Fix It Challenge or the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina’s and Institute of Industrial Engineer’s Ergo Cup).

At Humantech, we believe that well thought out design can be a key to overcoming many organizational hurdles but good design can also have a more wide-ranging impact, in fact, in some cases, a life saving impact.

Yesterday at inhabitat, Emily Pilloton discussed a success story related to Project H Design, a charitable organization whose aim is to support, inspire and deliver life-improving humanitarian product design solutions.

On the scene in South Africa, she detailed the delivery of 75 "Hippo Rollers" – simple rolling devices designed to facilitate a safer and more efficient way to transport daily water supplies.

What was most striking about Emily’s post was the fact that it really brings to light the effect good design can have on people’s lives. At the end of the day, it isn’t about winning a competition or saving a company X amount of dollars…in fact Pilloton says it best: it’s about "providing tools to enable lives, and creating an impact beyond immediate function. I would hope that the rollers aren’t just about transporting water, but that they bring inspiration to do more."