Wednesday, October 13, 2010


1. What have I learnt?
I have learnt that there are many ways to come up with a product for the elderly, and that not all products have to be based on problems such as eyesight problems, mobility or possibilities of injury. There are many ways to come up with a suitable product, possibly by just observing the daily habits of elderly, the patterns in their daily lives and how they usually do things.

2. What are the difficulties encountered?
The biggest problem was putting myself in the elderly's shoes and trying to find out the qualities and properties they would want in a good product. It was important to ask elderly as well, which posed a problem because it would not be accurate finding opinions just from a small number of elderly, and not looking at it generally.

3. How did I overcome the difficulties?
I overcame the difficulties by observing the general patterns of the elderly, and noticing the common points, as well as looking at the common problems that the elderly face. From my observations, I came up with a general design of the product, gradually adding in additional details for comfort, safety and convenience. I worked on the main points which the elderly would require most in a product, and incorporated my findings into my design to come up with the final product.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reflection - Prototype

  1. What are the difficulties that you have encountered during the process?

We were struggling with figuring out if the product’s ease of use was measurable. We thought that although the overall ease of use was not measurable, there might be certain factors leading to the conclusion that it would be possible.

The next difficulty we faced was finding evidence and describing how we knew if the product was easy to use. We did not understand at first what we were required to do.

  1. How do you overcome the difficulties encountered?

We overcame the first problem by taking the overall understanding of “ease of use”, which is not measurable. However, we later found out during the sharing that our answer was not very accurate.

We described how we knew that the product was easy to use by stating criteria which the product was required to fulfil in order to be easy to use, such as it should not cause injury to the elderly.

We found evidence of the product’s ease of use by describing which qualities of the product would prove easy to use for the elderly.

  1. What are the 2 key takeaways for this lesson?

The 2 key takeaways for this lesson are how to imagine and visualize the product and decide on how to build the prototype, the qualities and functions of the prototype and how the prototype would help the elderly. When building the prototype, I would be required to question the product, such as why this would make the elderly’s life better or how this can help the elderly.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ergonomics (Easy-To-Use Multi-Purpose Hook)

The product is multi-coloured, in orange, yellow and green. It can be stored in a curled shape which takes up much less space than if it was unfolded. When unfolded, it forms a "Y" shape, and 2 different things can be jung on the hooks.

The design considerations are space taken, quality and colour of materials used.

No, the elderly would not have problems using this product, as it can be easily folded and unfolded, and can be placed in many locations.

I added extra hooks to reduce the number of pressure applied on each of the main hooks, and a hook at the top to hang onto nails or protruding objects of walls. There is also a detachable towel hanger where towels can be hung. There are rubber grips on each of the hooks and the towel rack to increase friction and stop the load from falling off.

The hooks at the top are layered in the middle of the spinning wheel, and the rest of the hooks are surrounding them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ergonomics II

-Usage of resources to maximise the production of goods and services.
-Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.
-Using minimum time to complete maximum productivity.
-Reducing the amount of energy used to do something.

-Measure of output from a production process, per unit of input.
-Amount of work done in a particular period of time.

-The condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types of consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be considered non-desirable.

-Deals with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty.
-Closely related with the philosophy of art.
-Studies new ways of seeing and perceiving the world.
-Relies on our ability o discriminate at a sensory level.

-A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.
-Consolation for grief and anxiety.
-Something that gives satisfaction to its user.

Reference from: and

Ergonomics 1 - 3

What are the consideration that should be taken into account when designing a workplace that is suitable for the user.

The type of work done.
Amount of space.
Distance between user and computer screen.
Proper lighting.
Health. (Posture of user etc.)

Ergonomics 1

1. Compare the 2 different workplaces, state your observations.
Workplace 1 is cluttered while workplace 2 is organised.
In workplace 1, the man has to struggle a lot to get things adjusted appropriately, and he needs to adapt to different situations quickly, and he also feels uncomfortable while in workplace 2 everything is convenient for the man, and he can do things without much trouble.

In workplace 1, the items in the area are not suitable for doing work for long periods of time, and the man is often distracted by the discomfort he feels and tries to make things easier for himself. In the second workplace, everything is easy for the man, as he does not have to make major adjustments to the things around him and everything he uses is space-efficient.

The man in workplace 1 feels uncomfortable in his chair, he gets very restless and since the chair cannot lean back, his back gets sore after a long period of time. He has to bend over often. The man in workplace 2 is able to lean back in his chair, and thus he would have more comfort while doing his work. He can sit straight up in the chair, and does not need to bend forward. The man in workplace 1 needs many lamps to provide proper lighting for doing work. Sometimes, the lamp gets too hot and he cannot adjust it properly. The man in workplace 2 has a lamp which can be moved easily and does not get too hot for him to hold. He can move this lamp to suit his needs, and move it away when he does not need it.

2. Which workplace is preferred? State with reasons why one workplace is preferred over the other.
The second workplace is preferred, as the items there are made to adapt to the needs of the man, and

3. What are the considerations that should be taken into account when designing a workplace that is suitable for the user?
4. Why do you think that Ergonomics is important when designing?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Holiday Work - Part 2

Observation 1
The elderly need supports to move from place to place, especially those with osteoporosis, which makes their bones weak. They are quite prone to falling and injuries. Therefore there should be more banisters near the areas where the floors are slippery, such as toilets. Currently, there are no banisters near the washroom areas, and some elderly people may slip if they do not manage to catch hold of a nearby sink or door. There could be metal banisters beside the sinks for the elderly to hold onto when they are entering or leaving the washrooms.

Observation 2
Some of the elderly may be experiencing eyesight problems, whereby they are not able to see signs when they are too small or the words are of a colour which cannot be seen clearly. Some danger signs may not be seen or the elderly may lose his/her way around large areas. Currently, there are many shopping centres without signs with large font, or the colours are not in contrast to the background.

Words on signs should be made larger, and their colours should be bright if they are on a dark background, and dark if they are on a light background. They could also be made to change colours or flash repeatedly.

Observation 3
Usually, there are only a few lifts in a shopping centre, and they are in a corner of the shopping centre. When there are many people in the shopping centre, during lunch and dinner time, the elderly may not have enough speed to get a place in the lifts. Sometimes, there are even escalators which are broken or are under repairs.

Although people are making effort to repair the lifts, the elderly would still have to climb stairs in order to reach the floor they want to go to. They may risk falling or would feel tired when they climb up the stairs. Their bones also may not be able to withstand the pressure applied when going up stairs.

In shopping centres, several elderly people were not quick enough to enter the lifts, and had to wait for a long period of time. I think that there should be more lifts for the elderly to travel u the floors if the shopping centre, or that lifts would be more spacious to fit more people. There could also be multiple escalators so in case one breaks down, there would still be another escalator.

Observation 4
There are limited reserved seats in the MRT and usually, younger people would take up the seats rather than standing and giving up the seat to an elderly. Many elderly people would have no choice but stand for lengths of time; this would not only put pressure on their knee bones, but they would also risk falling when the train starts or stops moving.

Since this is caused mainly by young people not willing not give up their seats, we should educate they younger generation about consideration for the elderly. There could also be more seats for the elderly in the train, or more supports, especially metal poles, for the elderly to hold onto. The poles could also have some rubber around it to increase friction slightly, so the elderly will be less prone to falling should they have to stand.