Regardless of the level at which you work in your company, you can take certain steps to improve your company’s ergonomic awareness. Whether you are a developer, a designer, or an executive, your actions and behaviour can turn the tides in favour of user experience (UX).
Jakob Nielsen, a human-computer interaction expert, defines five goals when creating content with a UX-centered approach. These goals are learnability, efficiency, memorability, low-error rate, and satisfaction. According to Mr. Nielsen, it’s first necessary to find out how the company views ergonomics. This view is defined on an 8-level scale.
Mr. Nielsen says that it takes about 2 years to move from one level to the next and that it’s impossible to skip levels. Once you have found where your company is situated on his scale, you can begin working towards the next level by applying these good practices:
1. Leading by example
Participate in a project while keeping UX and ergonomics at the center of it. Stress this rigour to yourself and try to convince others to work in this way. If the project is a success, it will serve as a reference for the future.
2. Developing a common basis
Whether you choose to write an ergonomic charter, guidelines, or a website template, the aim is to create your own knowledge base around ergonomics and to share it. The short-term goal is to make it operational so you can homogenize the production and spare yourself the pain of redeveloping the same process over and over.
3. Relying on a strictly rigorous and valid method
Making changes and shaking up habits often raise misgivings among the target group, which is why you need to be extremely precise regarding everything concerning ergonomics. From user interface design to practical tests, your method must be thorough and well documented.
4. Raising team awareness
Ergonomics and UX are everyone’s business. You need to communicate on these topics in internal publications. You need to get people to think about their needs or their potential contributions to UX.
5. Educating managers
This could be the biggest challenge as they may not have the time or desire to work on this topic. To reach them you’ll need to be concise, factual and in sync with their information needs.
6. Studying customers
Observe and analyze the activity, study their feedback, archive test results, and build a knowledge base composed of these items. Always try to increase your knowledge of end users.
7. Making your own test lab
No need for fancy and sophisticated installations here. The requirements are a calm room, a good camera, a computer, and the features you want to test. (You might also consider adding a chair… You know, for ergonomic purposes).
8. Building a dedicated team
Get people who are involved in the user experience to work together and in the same place. This will greatly improve communication and synergy. It will also make it easier to manage and allocate resources for different tasks, according to the progress and requirements of the project.
9. Making the community grow
It’s interesting to develop a community that does not involve only team members. This may bring fresh perspectives and help resolve some challenges.
10. Developing a training plan
There is nothing better than acting directly at the source. To sustain your efforts in the long run, it’s necessary to bring ergonomics to the heart of the design process by training the staff.
Changing things for the better takes time. We may not agree with Jakob Nielsen when he says it takes about 2 years between each step of the process, but it is obviously a long-term mission. It’s an endurance run that begins with small steps.
Thank you for reading, we hope you found this article insightful.
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