Anthropometric forms are found where there is a need for a person to interact directly with the object (cars, machines, household appliances, etc.). And the depth of the elaboration of the form from a tactile point of view determines the degree of organicness of human interaction with the product.
The design of anthropometric forms with surfaces of the 3rd order and smoothness of class A cannot be performed even with a detailed technical assignment, without full-scale prototyping.
The goal of our team is to create products in which the user will enjoy use and interaction by forming a tactile and emotional connection between them.
Task: creating a single harmonious and holistic object by combining tactile sensations, emotions, and a visual image, where the design object becomes a continuation of the momentum of thought and movement.
In development, one prototype will say more than pages of text. Full-scale layouts are one of the most effective ways to create elements and products that directly interact with the human body.
Creating anthropometric forms is a multi-iterative process that takes place with the involvement of industry experts, as well as the test drive of prototypes among a sample of averaged user respondents. At the same time, it is very important to keep experts in the time-budget-decision balance so that the decision is not expensive or with a late deadline.
Based on the opinion of experts, the form is adjusted. Ergonomic tables can be a guiding light for common solutions, but working with people – both creating a product for the end-user and interacting with the client/customer – is a history of personification, faxes and unpredictable, but effective solutions, which we will tell you about using the example of the control handle of one unusual, but very useful simulator.
Stages of work
We have developed a multi-iterative workflow:
I. Generation of operational requirements, selection of reference forms used in product creation and formation of a representative sample
II. Create a full-scale layout. As a rule, we use plasticine
III. Next, we are testing on a representative sample
IV. Once ergonomic requirements have been met, the model is scanned.
V. The scanned model is refining to bring the surface to class A. Features are adding. The result is a solid CAD model, on the basis of which, when the prototype is approved, technological tooling for mass production will be formed
VI. Then, the resulting model is transferred to 3D printing, with subsequent post-processing – traces from printing and artifacts are removed. If necessary, the model is ground. After processing, the article is coated with a coating close to the properties of the final material (color, texture, softness)
VII. The finished prototype is retesting on a representative sample
The success of the project is achieved through iterations. Mistakes in the project are inevitable if you do not pay enough attention or skip any stage of the workflow:
I. Remote engineering. No matter how we try to get used to the “new reality” with home offices, we can’t imagine the creation of a human-oriented product without direct human contact. Remote engineering makes it difficult to transfer requirements – the client and the customer do not feel feedback, and the design is based on speculation, and not based on realism
II. No testing of results on the relevant user sample. No CAD/CAS 3D- must precede native layout (can be used to create a draft). We passed this and we know what we mean. And if you want to understand, ask your questions on the firstname.lastname@example.org
III. Conditional acceptance of the outcome of the process phase. The finished result is only in the customer’s imagination. The designer is not psychic.
IV. Start work without clearly defined functional requirements, but with clearly formulated emotional “convenient,” “beautiful,” “cool,” “sexy,” “comfortable,” etc.
What to do?
Do not speed up the process. Do not lobby for deadlines to achieve a formal result. Do not move problems from one iteration to another – they will not disappear themselves. Cut off the recommendations of experts diving you into the years of designing ideal products. The expert, often far from technology, is a high-class specialist in his(her) field. But he(she) does not think about the product and its business models. At the same time, it is experts who can suggest an innovative solution.
If the process is broken, you can suffer financial losses when putting a new product in production.
And it was a couple of weeks of work and two kilograms of plasticine…
Images: Alexey Shimchik
Text: Verdesta team