FitTech Magazine Issue 4 2/2021

Page 56


Fit tech products should be inclusive for people of

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different ages and abilities


Think about human senses

give cues to the user such as shape-coding, resistance forces, size differentiation, universal

Another key element in usability is to consider all

symbols and orientation cues, etc. Refining the

human senses and their limitations. Missing the

quality of interactions through expert review of

sound of an alarm on a product could be linked

prototypes, user trials, interviews, observations

to the age of the user group, the potential of

and a full commitment to understanding the

hearing loss or the volume of background noise

areas for improvement through a rigorous

in the environment where the product is used.

process of development is paramount.

Another example could be memory. If there are

As new technologies become available, brands

too many steps to remember in a user task or too

in the fitness industry will be faced with the

much information needed to be recalled when

challenge of truly understanding whether this

moving from one screen to the next in a digital

technology has a meaningful application for their

app, then this can cause use errors.

users or not. If it does, a deep consideration

Fit tech products must seek to be as inclusive

of usability is incredibly important for the

as possible. Physical fitness can still be of

adoption of that new technology, to ensure it

incredible importance to people who suffer

meets user needs in a positive way and doesn’t

from blindness, deafness and other disabilities

introduce hurdles and resistance through

– therefore inclusive design is also an important

poor usability design. ●

part of effective usability.

Refining quality through iterative development

About the author: Nick Chubb is the lead industrial designer at IDC, designing consumer products, electronics and medical

Usability should be considered at all stages during

devices for some of the world’s leading brands. He

the design, so that use errors can be reduced

has a 1st Class Masters Degree in Product Design

and interactions can be improved. Some of the

and acts as product design advisor at Arts Thread.

ways we do this is through affordances that


2 2021