Knowing Your Users
A sign posted at a crosswalk in Australia: “Blind Persons Cross Here,” included an arrow pointing to a designated crosswalk area. The question then arises . . . how well do guide dogs read?
The July/August 2002 edition of HEALTH magazine offers a list of the 10 best companies to work for. Companies that made the list include Abbott, Patagonia, and Conoco. Boasting benefits, these companies offer things from on-site preschool and kindergarten, on-site banking, web based enrichment courses, college scholarships for employee children and on-site fitness centers.
Employees of Merrill Lynch & Company, however, voted for their company based in part on the company’s commitment to ergonomics. One call to the ergonomics department, and a consultant will come to the employee’s workstation. Teleworkers are also included. They are required to send photos of their home offices to make sure they stay as healthy and productive as their commuting coworkers.
On Good Vibrations
Researchers at Glasgow University have developed a system that allows visually impaired people to use a computer mouse. Knowing that these users have visual limitations, researchers focused on what capabilities users had such as hearing and tactile senses. They created a mouse that “bumped” or vibrated as it crossed a grid on the screen to give users information on their cursor position. Researchers also suggested using sound pitches to designate up and down mouse movement.
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2002-09-01.