Design Research and Human Factors • Ethnographic Studies • Contextual Anthropometrics • Usability Testing • User and Expert Interviews
The application of human factors or ergonomics is critical to the design of products that are worn or require user interactions. Examples include VR headsets, surgical instruments and consumer electronics. To inform the design process and gain insight into user needs, ION conducts observational research to study user behavior in real-world settings. This ethnographic or user research is often augmented with photo or video recording so that the findings can be referenced throughout the design process. Depending on the scope of the project, the inquiry may also include online qualitative and quantitative research, user interviews, surveys or secondary research.
To resolve critical anthropometric constraints within the context of demanding performance requirements, ION utilizes 3D digital anthropometric sizing data it has collected over the years, specifically head shape proportions of different world populations. Where required, ION also generates 3D digital CAD human anatomical models from CT scans to create physical models made of tissue-simulating materials. These proxy anatomies are valuable tools used to optimize the interface between the product and the user’s body.