Design Sponge

A simple blog to showcase my projects, as well as what excites me in the world of design and engineering

Human Factors – Project hand in

Human Factors


After a very busy past two months, time is starting to slow back down at last. Coursework deadlines have been met and I now have the rest of the month to unwind, start my masters project, completely update my website, develop a concept with classmates and participate in a design competition… so just a casual month.


The Human Factors project was a semester long project where we were given a product to re-design from a Human Factors perspective. This was a great opportunity to really put into place the entire design cycle:



Of the products we could select I chose the Fitbit One. The Fitbit One is an activity tracker that monitors movement and tracks activity (steps) constantly, allowing users to see how active they are over time and whether they are being active enough.


Self monitoring is a trend that is rapidly growing, the wearable devices market is already valued at over $4bn and is expected to double by 2018. One device currently on the market is the Fitbit One, an activity tracker. The Fitbit One was analysed from a human factors perspective in order to redesign the product for a defined target user. A customer analysis was carried out for the Fitbit brand, where it was discovered that Fitbit users are largely female aged 38 with a high income. Nike Fuelband users are typically younger and Nike have a much wider reach (more then 7 times). Therefore the target user was defined as a female between the age of 23 and 45.

A design ethnography approach was taken for user trials. The Fitbit is a lifestyle product and so trials required the user use the product for a period of time, one week was decided. Cultural probes were used in the form of a user journal. Using the design ethnography approach, the following issues were highlighted:

– Packaging was too text heavy and confused users. Users also struggled with the plastic sleeve and holder
– Users often forgot to wear the device in the morning
– The clip limited how they wore the product and often was uncomfortable

Other research methods included, a questionnaire, anthropometrics and researching the psychology of habits, which highlighted the following insights:

– Although most people would rather wear a fitness tracker on their wrist, the reasons people have for wanting to wear it on their waist cannot be compromised
– People do a lot of sports and activities, most of which a simple step counter wouldn’t be up to the task for
– Habits can be considered a closed loop, with a routine, cue and reward. In understanding each component for this particular case a habit can be created to prevent users forgetting to wear the tracker in the morning

Following research and user trials, a redesign was undertaken, beginning with foam modelling to explore ergonomics and form. These models were used for usability testing. The most suitable design was brought forward and embodied, using
storyboards to emphasise the changes made. As a result of the packaging being brought up as large issue during the user
trials, the packaging was redesigned to ensure clarity.


Here are a few pages from my final report:







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 12, 2014 by in Design, Projects.
%d bloggers like this: