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Topic : Aesthetic and Ergonomic Considerations in Design

While aesthetics and appearance have always played a role in product and system design, this role
will dramatically increase in the 21st century as the society and market become more sophisticated and the
manufacturing technologies become further developed. To compete and succeed in the marketplace,
manufacturers will have to look beyond reliability and physical quality, and pay more and more attention to
the aesthetics and subjective quality of their products. In the more established technology sectors, product
reliability is a given to the customers and is often regarded as a basic qualifying ticket to enter the
market place. Other features and metrics, such as usability and aesthetics often separate the winners and
Although industrial and product designers are keenly aware of the importance of design
aesthetics, they rely largely on their educated guesses, talents, or gut-feelings in making design
decisions. Some of them also consult trend analyzers hunches and predictions. There is
an obvious lack of systematic, scientific, and engineering methods to help them make aesthetic design
decisions and conduct aesthetic evaluations. There is also an obvious lack of a scientific and theoretical
foundation or framework to organize, communicate, and explain related ideas and concepts.
As a scientific discipline that devotes itself to the study of human-machine-environment systems,
human factors and ergonomics has long established its goals of enhancing the safety, comfort, productivity,
and ease-of-use of products and systems and has made great strides toward achieving these goals. Although
there have been calls for the expansion of the research
scope of human factors to include emotional aspects of design and there have been some endeavors toward
that direction, aesthetics has not generally been regarded as one
of the central topics of human factors research.
In a closely related discipline, "consumer behavior" has long been one of the central topics of
marketing research, where design and product aesthetics are examined from the perspective of how they
may influence people's purchasing decisions and their preferences or behavior as buyers and consumers of
market products extremely useful for product design, advertising, and marketing, but there are major
limitations in its current scope of research: Because of its main focus on "marketing", it does not offer a
view of the design of human-machine-environment systems, many of which are not designed for
"marketing" or "consumption". Examples of these systems abound and include hospitals,
schools, and military and public service systems.

Engineering Aesthetics:
The scientific discipline engineering aesthetics should address two major questions:
1) how can we use engineering and scientific methods to study aesthetic concepts in system and product
2) How do we incorporate engineering and scientific methods in the aesthetic design and evaluation process
(beyond designers intuitions and trend analyzers hunches)?
Industrial designers in various fields of design have developed a large base of design heuristics,
success stories, and winning strategies. They are extremely valuable food for thoughts. They may serve as
a rich soil for the growth of the discipline of engineering aesthetics, and will in return benefit from the
fruits of the discipline. However, designers heuristics are not, and they were not meant to be, scientific and
engineering statements or findings. In daily life, the word aesthetics is used widely in diverse contexts
ranging from cosmetics and beauty salons to the appreciation of enjoyable objects and fine arts. However,
currently in academic settings and scholarly discourse, the use of the term aesthetics is primarily centered
around the theory of art and the criticism of the arts. Encouragingly, a number of empirical studies of
aesthetic concepts have appeared that can be found both inside and outside of the domain of arts (e.g.,
Hekkert and van Wieringen, 1996; Langlois and Roggman, 1990). Both the philosophical discussions and
the empirical studies agree that aesthetic responses and appraisals are not limited to beauty judgments.
Rather, there is a whole range of aesthetic notions such as the sublime, the beautiful, the pretty, the
humorous, the comic, the cool, the fashionable, the funky, the ugly, and the tragic. Further, aesthetic
experiences and responses are multi-dimensional in the sense that
overall aesthetic response is the joint outcome of a multitude of factors. The issues of debate among
philosophers, art critics, and designers are what these factors are and how they contribute to aesthetic
response, either positively or negatively. The goal of engineering aesthetics is to employ scientific,
engineering, and mathematical methods to systematically identify and quantify the roles of aesthetic factors
in system design.
In addition to the multidimensional nature of aesthetic experience, I would like to point out those
aesthetic appraisals of products and work systems possess two special features: First, they tend to be multimodal; and second, they tend to be interactive. These two features distinguish aesthetic appraisal of products
and work systems from aesthetic appreciation of arts, and pose special and fascinating challenges to
engineering aesthetics. Let me discuss the two features below.
First, aesthetic appraisal of product and system design tends to be multi-modal in the sense that more
than one sensory modality is likely to be involved in the process. While fine art appreciation is primarily
visual, aesthetic appreciation of a product or work system may involve the interplay between a persons
visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, haptic .
For example, the visual appearance and the surface texture of a perfume bottle are often as important
as the perfume itself in a consumers aesthetic evaluation of the perfume. Similarly, when making aesthetic
appraisals of a potato chip, consumers examine with their eyes and feel with their fingers the shape, the
contour, and the thickness of the chip. They smell with their noses and taste with their tongue the flavor of
the chip, feel with their teeth and jaw the biting pressure, and hear with their ears the cracking sound of
breaking the chip.
A winning brand will have to please the consumer along all the modalities.
Second, aesthetic appraisal of a product or system may be not only multi-dimensional and multimodal, but
interactive as well. In other words, the consumer as an appraiser may not be a passive examiner of the
appraised object. The appraiser may actively interact with the object, test its reactions and communicate
with the appraised, which may or may not communicate back. For example, before purchasing a new car,
we not only look and feel the car in a parking lot, but always test drive it to see how it responses in various
driving situations and whether it offers us the driving excitement. In a classroom or lecture hall, students
and audience consider a speaker engaging if the speaker is not merely an object to look at and listen to,
but a live person with whom they can interact in interesting ways.

Human factors and ergonomics (HF&E), also known as comfort design, functional design, and userfriendly systems, is the practice of designing products, systems or processes to take proper account of the
interaction between them and the people that use them.
It is a multidisciplinary field incorporating contributions
from psychology, engineering, biomechanics, industrial design, physiology and anthropometry. In essence it
is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities. The two
terms "human factors" and "ergonomics" are essentially synonymous.
The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics or human factors as follows:
Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of
interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory,
principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system
HF&E is employed to fulfill the goals of occupational health and safety and productivity. It is
relevant in the design of such things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines and equipment.
Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries and other musculoskeletal
disorders, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. Human factors and ergonomics
is concerned with the "fit" between the user, equipment and their environments. It takes account of the user's
capabilities and limitations in seeking to ensure that tasks, functions, information and the environment suit
each user.
To assess the fit between a person and the used technology, human factors specialists or ergonomists
consider the job (activity) being done and the demands on the user; the equipment used (its size, shape, and
how appropriate it is for the task), and the information used (how it is presented, accessed, and changed).
Ergonomics draws on many disciplines in its study of humans and their environments,
including anthropometry, biomechanics, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, industrial
design, information design, kinesiology, physiology, cognitive psychology and industrial and organizational

Ergonomics comprises of three main fields of research:

(Physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomics)
There are many specializations within these broad categories. Specialisations in the field of physical
ergonomics may include visual ergonomics. Specialisations within the field of cognitive ergonomics may
include usability, humancomputer interaction, and user experience engineering.
Some specialisations may cut across these domains: Environmental ergonomics is concerned with human
interaction with the environment as characterized by climate, temperature, pressure, vibration, lightThe
emerging field of human factors in highway safety uses human factor principles to understand the actions
and capabilities of road users - car and truck drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. - and use this knowledge to
design roads and streets to reduce traffic collisions. Driver error is listed as a contributing factor in 44% of
fatal collisions in the United States, so a topic of particular interest is how road users gather and process
information about the road and its environment, and how to assist them to make the appropriate decision.

New terms are being generated all the time. For instance, "user trial engineer" may refer to a human factors
professional who specialises in user trials. Although the names change, human factors professionals apply
an understanding of human factors to the design of equipment, systems and working methods in order to
improve comfort, health, safety, and productivity.
According to the International Ergonomics Association within the discipline of ergonomics there exist
domains of specialization:

1. Physical ergonomics

Physical ergonomics: the science of designing user interaction with equipment and workplaces to fit the
Physical ergonomics is concerned with human anatomy, and some of the anthropometric, physiological and
bio mechanical characteristics as they relate to physical activity. Physical ergonomic principles have been
widely used in the design of both consumer and industrial products. Past examples
include screwdriver handles made with serrations to improve finger grip, and use of soft thermoplastic
elastomers to increase friction between the skin of the hand and the handle surface. Physical ergonomics is
important in the medical field, particularly to those diagnosed with physiological ailments or disorders such
as arthritis(both chronic and temporary) or carpal tunnel syndrome. Pressure that is insignificant or
imperceptible to those unaffected by these disorders may be very painful, or render a device unusable, for
those who are. Many ergonomically designed products are also used or recommended to treat or prevent
such disorders, and to treat pressure-related chronic pain.
One of the most prevalent types of work-related injuries are musculoskeletal disorders. Work-related
musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs) result in persistent pain, loss of functional capacity and work
disability, but their initial diagnosis is difficult because they are mainly based on complaints of pain and
other symptoms. Every year 1.8 million U.S. workers experience WRMDs and nearly 600,000 of the
injuries are serious enough to cause workers to miss work. Certain jobs or work conditions cause a higher
rate worker complaints of undue strain, localized fatigue, discomfort, or pain that does not go away after
overnight rest. These types of jobs are often those involving activities such as repetitive and forceful

exertions; frequent, heavy, or overhead lifts; awkward work positions; or use of vibrating equipment. The
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found substantial evidence that ergonomics
programs can cut workers' compensation costs, increase productivity and decrease employee turnover.
Therefore, it is important to gather data to identify jobs or work conditions that are most problematic, using
sources such as injury and illness logs, medical records, and job analyses.

2. Cognitive ergonomics
Cognitive ergonomics is concerned with mental processes, such as perception, memory, reasoning,
and motor response, as they affect interactions among humans and other elements of a system. (Relevant
topics include mental workload, decision-making, skilled performance, human-computer interaction, human
reliability, work stress and training as these may relate to human-system and Human-Computer
Interaction design.)

3. Organizational ergonomics
Organizational ergonomics is concerned with the optimization of socio-technical systems, including
their organizational structures, policies, and processes. (Relevant topics include communication, crew
resource management, work design, work systems, design of working times, teamwork, participatory
design, community ergonomics, cooperative work, new work programs, virtual organizations, telework, and
quality management.)

Case Study
Design of Bicycle for Indian Children Focusing on Aesthetic and Ergonomics
A bicycle is a pedal driven , human-powered vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the
other. Bicycle is a mode of transportation. It is a good exercise machine. We can use it to move around or
get good exercise. Completely we can say it is a good source of exercise. In the current project, effort has
been made to understand the product and its market following this the product trends are studied. By market
survey, users requirements reflected various needs in the product. The different products of various brands
were studied and bench marked. After benchmarking process problem identification was done and
ergonomic issues of users in user environment were studied. The users interaction with the product,
GEMBA, quality function deployment (QFD)table were made for bench marking. Considering all important
parameters product design specification (PDS) was formulated. Concepts were generated using theme board
of the users products. metaphors from nature and sportiveness were considered to get design inputs
.Concepts were selected and finalized from the generated concepts by Pugh's chart. The final concept was
modeled in 3D using PROE , Photoshop and ALIAS Studio Tools. For the final product appearance model
was made using MDF media. The modifications to improve aesthetic of the bicycle and ergonomics are
represented and discussed in the paper.
At this time, the bicycles were equipped with 16" and 18" tires, but later the tires were modified to 20",
22", and finally 24". A human being travelling on a bicycle at low to medium speeds of around 10-15 mph
(16-24 km/h), using only the energy required to walk, is the most energy-efficient means of transport
generally available. Air drag, which increases with the square of speed, requires increasingly higher power
outputs depending on speed .
Bi-two, cycle-round this makes the bike what it is. Bicycle plays an important role in transportation.
Many of the people rely on or choose the bicycle for their main or only mode of transportation. Bicycle can
move considerable numbers of people, especially in urban areas.
A human being travelling on a bicycle at low to medium speeds of around 10-15 mph (16-24 km/h), using
only the energy required to walk, is the most energy-efficient means of transport generally available. Air
drag, which increases with the square of speed, requires increasingly higher power outputs depending on

Bicycles can be categorized in different ways: e.g. by function, by number of riders, by general
construction, by gearing or by means of propulsion. The most common types are, Utility bicycle - are
designed for commuting, shopping and running errands. They employ middle or heavy weight frames and
tires, internal hub gearing, and a variety of helpful accessories. The riding position is usually upright.
Mountain bicycle - are designed for off road cycling and include other sub types of road bicycles. All
mountain bicycle feature sturdy, highly durable frames and wheels, wide gauge threaded tires. Racing
bicycles are designed for speed and include road , time, trial and trank bicycles. They have light weight
frames and components with minimal accessories, dropped handle bars to allow for an aerodynamic riding
position. The bicycles are generally made up of steel. The materials used plays very important role in
weight. Fork, frame and some parts are made-up of different materials. For less weight some advanced
composite materials are being used. In shockless forks the material of fork can noticeably affect the feel of
the bicycle, with aluminum offering the stiffest ride. Carbon fiber forks are popular in road bicycles because
they are light, and also because they lessen the stiffness and absorb vibrations [8]. The tubes of the frame
have been made of steel. While steel is still used. New frames can be made from aluminum alloys and
carbon fiber
Problem Statement-"To design a bicycle for Indian children of age group 8 to I4 years considering aesthetics
and ergonomics in Indian condition"
Methodology The steps shown in Fig 2. Briefly describe the methodology used for the design of this
Methodology Product and market study
The targeted segments are middle class and higher middle class people. In existing market there are
many branded bicycle companies, which are having different styled bicycles according to their target
customers. In market main bicycle sellers are BSA, Avon, Hercules,
Hamilton, Hero cycles and Atlas. From market analysis bench marking has been done for which the
important specifications of the unisex bicycles were taken into account. According to market survey Hero
cycles are having the maximum sale. So datum product was Hero cycles for bench marking. The target
customers are Children (8I4yrs). Product is targeted to middle class family and higher middle class family.
Fig 3.

The user study gives detail information about the product features. In brief user study means, "Go to their
environment and actually observe the customers using the product". It is also referred as "going to Gemba".
In user study some questionnaires were prepared to take customer voice into account. In user study the
quality function deployment (QFD) process was followed. QFD focuses for identification of customer
needs, identifying how the good/service will satisfy customers wants, developing the importance ratings,
evaluating competing products and converting the customers voice into technical voice. The
important issues addressed by customers in QFD are shown in fig 4.
Open chain sprocket
Need big carrier for bag
-- Resolve handle grip
3. 1 Problem Identification
In user study the user environments were observed and identification of problems and ergonomic issues
were carried on. Some the identified issues were, Back carrier is too small to carry the bags properly, the
height of the handle and saddle is not proper, so by this they will get back-pain and can't ride for longer
distance. The some of the problems are shown in the Fig 5. While resolving the ergonomic issues the Indian
Anthropometric standard dimensions were considered. The average Indian height of 50th percentile was the
maximum for the age group selected, so below the 50th percentile that is 25th percentile body dimensions
were considered for 8-14 year category.


Product design specification gives the specifications of the product. Specifications are as shown in Table I,
The theme board was proposed keeping in perspective customers color choice. It was directed to
derive aesthetic appeal and identify pleasing color. The current market trend theme board is shown in Fig 6.
Fig 6. Theme Board Products

Considering the important factors highlighted, from studies, concepts generations was done. Further
working on metaphors from nature the concepts were iterated as shown, effort was made so that by seeing
the product it should feel like it is ready to run. Fig 7. Nature Metaphors- Iterations
The material mainly used for these bicycles would be aluminum alloy frame tube. The tires would be from
rubber material, rest of the parts were proposed to be made up of standard materials. The aluminum alloy
weight makes the material makes light. Fork and stem is proposed to be made up of carbon fiber material.
Considering the all-sportive look the following concepts were done as shown in Fig 8.

5.1 Materials and Manufacturing Process

Carbon fiber plastic material is a composite material and is non-metallic, commonly used for aesthetic look
of the products. It is much lighter in weight; it is very stiff and absorbs vibrations. Chromoly is a high
strength steel alloy. It can be made into lightweight tubing with very thin wall gauges. The center frame is
proposed to be made up of chromoly. Rests of the things would be made with ordinary steel. The brief
manufacturing processes are tig welding, molding and press tooling which plays a very important role in
5.2 Rendered Concepts
It gives an insight for how the actual product would look like in proposed material with actual scale, colour
and light conditions. The concept frames were proposed to be made up with chromoly material, which is
very light and has good strength. On the side of the chromoly frame the aluminum alloy frame will be used
to give good strength. Fig 9 illustrates concept handles keeping ergonomic issues in consideration. The
saddle is proposed to be covered with silicon rubber, which gives grip while riding the bicycle.
Self-adjustment mechanism is provided in the saddle based on the riders' thighs movement the saddle is
designed to support to rider.
5.3 Final Concept Selection and Renderings
Using Pugh's method the final concept was selected and the output included some prime features in the
New design
Enhance in aesthetic, appearance, Provision for water bottle holder, Gears (4), Adjustable side stands
-- Broad back carrier
sportive rear mudguard, electronic bell, racing speedometer (optional) ergonomically designed handle,
broader back carrier and self-adjustment saddle. For reducing the weight of the bicycle the chromoly
composite materials is used. Using gestalt principle the electronic bell, front and back mudguard and gear
shifters are positioned. In this bicycle the side stand has been made adjustable to stand on irregular surfaces.
The both boy and girl could use single bicycle thus proposed.
This is totally unisex bicycle. Considering all ergonomic issues of children the bicycle was modified.
From the above study we can conclude that aesthetic parameters leave a good impact and can lead to
change in peoples mindset about the product. It also gives the product a new look. Further weight and cost
enhances the value of the product.