The usability of an exercise bike designed for elderly users at home

Anna Danska, Sirra Toivonen, Matti Vuori

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific

    Abstract

    Usability assessment gives practical ideas for product development in companies struggling with their daily business interests. In designing usable products, the aim is towards products which are easy to use, safe and appropriate for the intended use. This is even more important when the product is aimed for elderly users, since the inabilities of older people are often difficult to comprehend for younger, physically and technically skilled, product developers. In this study, the usability of an exercise bike, designed to be used by elderly people at home was tested and evaluated. This paper introduces the methods used, the results obtained, and the means for developing the usability of the exercise bike. The study began with an usability evaluation of the prototype. The usability tests were performed at a rehabilitation centre. Eight persons, aged between 54 and 80 years of age, were involved in the testing. The tests focused on adjusting the bike for the user, biking with different additional activities like watching the television or reading a magazine, and moving the bike around. The usability tests were complemented with an expert evaluation. This included an analysis of the ergonomics and the safety of the exercise bike, and an evaluation of the user manual. The usability evaluation was continued on a "pilot production" bike. This included unpacking and assembling the exercise bike. The evaluation was performed by usability experts and a target group subject. The study showed that a systematic approach for assessing the usability of a product will give the product developers practical ideas for improving their products. Although the physical ergonomics of the bike was highly praised by the users, weaknesses were identified in the information ergonomics, for example, in the symbols on the user panel and in the user manual.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication5th International Conference on Product Safety Research
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 1997
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event5th International Conference on Product Safety Research - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 15 Apr 199716 Apr 1997

    Publication series

    SeriesEuropean Consumer Safety Association. Report
    Number189
    ISSN0923-3954

    Conference

    Conference5th International Conference on Product Safety Research
    CountrySpain
    CityBarcelona
    Period15/04/9716/04/97

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