Ergonomics App

During my work as a wellness consultant for a utility company, I was asked to create a training workshop for managers to present to technicians to address the rising numbers of musculoskeletal pain complaints. 

The original deliverable was print-based. When I started my design studies, I took on the challenge to translate it into a digital format.

Here’s a brief summary of the project and a functioning prototype. Click the download button to read a detailed case study.

timeframe

Research gathered in Spring 2014; prototype created in Fall 2018.

INDIVIDUAL/TEAM PROJECT

Individual. I completed all the research and designed the wireframes and prototype.

METHODS & TOOLS

Contextual inquiry, interviews, personas, information architecture, Sketch (wireframes, screens), Axure (prototype)

OUTCOME

The material in the paper-based training workbook translated fairly easily into a digital format. The job ended in 2014, so testing with the intended users wasn't possible, but it would have been interesting to see if the app satisfied user and business goals.

Summary

THE PROBLEM

Survey results showed that technicians felt pain most in these areas from their work: 

  • Knees - 29% 
  • Low back - 20%
  • Shoulders - 11%

The business goal was to decrease the need to shift techs out of the field and into office jobs, ultimately reducing turnover.

THE RESEARCH

CONTEXTUAL OBSERVATIONS AND INTERVIEWS

Though the survey results were helpful as a guide, I arranged to accompany 5 technicians at work to see their typical work postures (climbing, lifting, pushing, kneeling) first-hand.

Technicians kneeling at work

During these service calls, we talked about how their daily work affected their physical health. 

They wanted to be productive and continue to work in the field as free from pain as possible. 

RESULTS

I compiled all the research data and designed two personas: Harry, the HVAC tech and Dan, the Team Lead.

MORE RESULTS

The information architecture was based on both business and user requirements. Techs wanted exercise guidance to reduce risk, while business leaders wanted anatomy education and testing for retention. So I separated the content using tabs and included a quiz for each section. 

After sketching out possible solutions, I drew wireframes and screens in Sketch and created a high fidelity prototype in Axure.

Risks tab (left) and anatomy tab (right)

IMPACT & LESSONS

As mentioned earlier, there is no way to test with the intended users; ideally, I would have had them do usability tests to test the information architecture and navigation.

Regardless, this project gave me a chance to apply the UX process to an independent project and learn how to repurpose content (from print to digital). 

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