The next time you see a warning label, think ergonomics. Or better yet, hope that competent ergonomists/human factors professionals were involved in its design, because they will likely have done a fair amount of research to make it effective.
But, alas, we’ve all seen warnings that clearly didn’t go before qualified ergonomists. Each year the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (MLAW) annually holds the Wacky Warning Label Contest. In recognition of those who may have neglected usability testing, and those who managed what was thought to be impossible, the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (MLAW) annually holds the Wacky Warning Label Contest. This year’s winner was the product warning label that read, “Do not use the Ultradisc2000 as a projectile in a catapult. “Apparently, common sense may not be that common.
The runner up winner was a warning label on fireplace logs, which read, “Caution
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2002-06-01.