The Design of Open Engineering Systems Lab

University at Buffalo - The State University of New York

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Combining Anthropometric Data and Consumer Review Content to Inform Design for Human Variability

Research Area: Research Publication Year: 2015
Type of Publication: Proceedings
Authors: Ferguson, Taylor; Greene, Melissa; Repetti, Frank; Lewis, Kemper; Behdad, Sara
Publisher: ASME IDETC, Boston, MA
In this paper, we strive to combine concepts from the field of ergonomics with techniques from design analytics in order to inform the specifications of a product, such that a designer can create products that are both universal and well-received by consumers. While the ergonomic guidelines dictated by anthropometric data can provide a broad target range for design features, consumer reviews of previous iterations of similar products can narrow the design further, within that given range, to pinpoint a more effective design. We establish a general, ergonomically-centered set of cue-phrases to identify and extract useful information from online reviews, after which this information can be coupled with anthropometric measurements to produce more accurate product dimensions and features. A new metric, the Frequency and Accuracy Summation (FAS) number is also introduced, as a means to predict the likelihood that a cue-phrase will yield useful results. The usefulness of these cue-phrases as well as the utility of combining consumer review content with anthropometric data sets are then tested in a case study centered on the design of a new and more universal “ear bud” headphone. Using the established cue-phrases, reviews of an existing product are processed such that problem components could be targeted in the new design. The