D5.11 Methodology for Wearability and Ergonomics

Developing a Participatory Design approach for creating a wearable prototype for the WEKIT project is the main focus of the 5.11 deliverable.

This document focuses on a Participatory Design approach to creating a Wearable WEKIT prototype garment for housing sensors to measure performance of people carrying out tasks in industrial partner scenarios of Aerospace, Space and Medical cases. This approach involves carrying out investigations with the user as opposed to discoveries made by designers on behalf of the user. A literature survey from desk-based research looked at existing Participatory Design practices and implemented a set for creating a practical Design Methodology for Wearability that was integrated with a practical Design Methodology for Ergonomics. The result was a Workplace Ergonomics Toolkit that was used by designers at Ravensbourne in conjunction with users of the WEKIT technology in workshops for each of 3 individual use cases for scenarios relating to Aerospace, Medical and Space industry partners.

This was a 3-stage process:

  1. Reference the WP5.1 document outlining Design Methodology for Wearability factors.
  2. The factors were embodied into a set of printed and physical materials and props that could be compiled and assembled into a toolkit/workshop programme that would serve WP5.2 and create Wearable Design Solutions or prototypes.
  3. The last stage would involve an industrial partner’s employees together with invited external Wearable Technology experts to explore how solutions could serve WP5.3 and enable Workplace Integration

The outcomes of this deliverable will be exploited by the deliverables related to the Industrial Partner Trials and feedback from those trials will aid the post-project publication of fuller versions of the outcomes, as Open Guidelines (open access) for each of our Stakeholder Groups.

Established categories of common Wearability priorities across scenarios were found applicable. Signals were highlighted including such factors as Electronic/Wireless, Motion, Sound, Psychological, Physiological, Transmission, Reception and Light. Accessibility/Availability factors included Online/Offline access, Freedom, Constancy, Account Management/Logon and Battery Charging. Lastly, Ergonomic Affordances important for Wearability included Coordination, Sensory Faculty, Prototyping-Visual, Size, Comfort, Touch Control, Button Layout, Indoor Use and Insulation. In addition, and potentially adding to established methodology for studying the ergonomics of sensor-equipped garments, placement of wired and wire-free sensors for different scenarios were collated and correlated with connectivity, comfort and hygiene to identify a general case for sensor positions.