Workplace Design
General Principles for Workplace Designs
Workplace design in general.
1. Clearance requirements for the largest users
2. Reach requirements for the smallest users
  • Use data from male/female depending on which one is smaller
3. Special requirements for maintenance people
4. Adjustable requirements
  • workplace (shape, location, orientation)
  • worker position relative to workplace
  • work piece or tool
5. Visibility and Normal Line of Sight
  • 10 - 15 degrees below the horizontal
  • Definition: preferred direction of gaze when the eyes are at a comfortable condition
6. Safety Requirements
ALWAYS accommodate 100% 
7. Reach Envelope
3D space you can comfortably reach without leaning forward
Principles of Component Arrangement
Goals: increase overall movement efficiency, reduce total movement distance
Frequency of Use 
Most frequently used components should be put in the most convenient locations
Components most crucial to achievement of system goals should be in most convenient locations
Sequence of Use
Layout of components should reflect the sequence of operations
Layout of components should be in same spatial location to minimize memory and search requirements.
ex stop signs throughout the world
Control Display Principle of Collocaion
Control devices should be close to associated displays (layout of controls should reflect layout of displays)
Clutter Avoidance
Provide a adequate space betwen controls to minimize risk of accidental activation
Functional Grouping Principle
Components with closely related functions should be placed close to one another, MS office
Design Methods
Methods of Component Arrangement
Subjective Judgements
Link Analysis
Quantitative and objective method for examining relationships between components.
  • Goal is to minimize total travel time between components. 
Link Definition
Represents a relationship between two components where the strength of the relationship is determined by the link values. 
Sequential Links
transition probability that you use item j immediately after item i
Functional Links
number of times each unit is used per unit of time (probability of choosing item i) Pi
Design of Standing and Seated Work Areas
1. Standing helps support large weights
2. Sit if working for long duration
3. Work surface height: 
  • Precise Work - high work surface height
  • Light Work - Medium work surface height
  • Heavy Work - Low work surface height
  • With relaxed shoulders, your desk should be at or below your elbow (blood should flow down)
4. Work surface depth
  • Normal and maximum work areas
  • Reach envelope
5. Work surface inclination
  • Most should be horizontal but for reading, a slightly slanted surface towards you is better
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