2018: Intuitive Interface Structure for Ergonomic Evaluation Software

By Guillermo Munguía Velazquez and Pontus Rang-Roslund in cooperation with the project group for Smart Textiles for Sustainable Work Life at the University of Skövde.

Infographic of the degree project.

There is a strong connection between work conditions and work-related musculoskeletal disorders, for manual work carried out within manufacturing, construction, healthcare, forestry or similar settings. A common reason is that sometimes such work are not being performed according to ergonomic guidlines. For example, workplaces may have heights and widths which are not suitable for the worker and, therefore, an injury may appear because the worker has a bad posture while doing the tasks in the work environment. To prevent injuries, encourage ergonomic work behaviour or improve workplaces, ergonomists and coaches use physical ergonomics assessment methods by observing workers while performing tasks.

By intergrating sensors in workwear it is possible to extract information regarding postures, speeds, and forces excerted by workers in the work environment. The data extracted needs to be organized, classified, and visually represented to allow the user, e.g. an ergonomist, a better understanding of how to handle and interpret the information. The aim of this project was to develop a software interface that integrates, organize and presents physical ergonomics data for ergonomists and coaches. A literature review was carried out, focusing on basic principles of usability, cognition, user interaction, human-computer interaction, user experience and ergonomics evaluation methods. In order to uncover user needs, interviews and observations were performed, and inputs and outputs of the management information were analysed. Based on the gathered information, interface design concepts were generated and evaluated through formative evaluation. The final iteration brought a flexible and usable interface for ergonomic evaluations based on data received when using smart textiles technology.

Screen shots from the software interface. Start menu.

 Screen shots from the software interface. Live Session menu.

Screen shots from the software interface. LAB Session menu.

The full report can be found at http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15702