A comfortable handle might be an ergonomic feature, but to achieve a truly ergonomic device, a designer would have to consider the following:
Quality of the design: a development process that accounts for the various uses of a product and permits effective usage of the product by the consumer.
Consumer driven: no product can be deemed ergonomic for everyone unless it’s highly customizable, therefore designers and manufacturers would need to carefully specify for whom the product is considered ergonomic.
Care: manufacturer’s commitment to the safety of the product in relationship to any of its intended uses, or even reasonably foreseeable misuses.
Commitment to Ergonomics: a design that incorporates the theories of ergonomics, particularly how the product relates to the well-being of the user and the other elements of a system in which the product may be employed.
Intended Use: clearly-understandable instructions regarding the intended use of a product must be supplied to the user.
Successful passage of an evaluation: any product deemed ergonomic should be thoroughly tested by an impartial board of ergonomists who are commissioned specifically to review and analyze products. Currently, however, there is no such board.
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2004-02-01.