Human Factors + Scooter Design

For my human factors subject, I participated in a group to research and create an ergonomic design for a motorised scooter. We put a lot of time and effort into this project. The research element was particularly fun for me. I haven’t made this an image-heavy blog post, because these google docs contain mountains of information on the process we went through. I would love for you to look at them:

Scooter Presentation 1 – Problem Definition

Scooter Presentation 2 – Analysis

Scooter Presentation 3 – Project Development

Scooter Final Report

Final Human Factors Lecture Notes:


Most OHS posture issues are about duration. The Noish lifting equation asks ‘can you do it’ and ‘how often’?

When designing our scooters, we need to think of:

  • Posture
  • Posture Adjustment
  • Dynamic Posture
  • Duration


A ‘Sone’ is a unit of perceived loudness. Our perception of loudness isn’t just about volume, it also relates to pitch. The further the pitch gets from the human voice level, the quieter it sounds, regardless of consistent power level.

At ages 50 and over, the nerves in your ear that detect higher pitches die.



Sometimes thing need to be difficult to use – such as medicine bottle caps.

Physical aspects are easy to measure. Mental and emotional aspects are more difficult, more qualitative. For example, how do you measure the morale provided by a submarine bunk bed?

Utility is not universal – it all depends on context.

Give people the ability to accurately guess what the product does and how. Consider first-time user experience as well as experienced user performance.

Just avoid creating annoyances for people, “get the hell out of the way”. Make the function work. Make sure everything else doesn’t interfere.

Design for Pleasure

Read P. Jordan’s books, ‘Design for Usability’ and ‘Design for Pleasure’ and Don Norman’s ‘Emotional Design’.

+/- Valence = attraction or aversion to environment.
-ve = increase in focus. Fight or flight mode.
+ve = broadens mind, more open to distraction, increase in lateral thought.


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