Applied Ergonomics Handbook. Volume 1 by B. Shackel (Auth.)

By B. Shackel (Auth.)

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Distinguishing controls The user is less likely to operate the wrong controls if he can distinguish them easily through differences of shape, size, colour and position. The use of shape to differentiate controls is particularly valuable, for the user can quickly and accurately recognize a hand-operated control by its 'feel' alone. 10 are hardly ever confused with each other. 'Shape-coding' should not, of course, interfere with the use of good pointer-shaped knobs where these are necessary. If it is really important to prevent accidental operation of a control it should be recessed into the panel.

A fairly wide range of positions for any one piece of equipment can usually be tolerated without discomfort by one size of user. The tolerance range for a person of a different size may be equally wide. But these ranges do not coincide. Usually there is only a small overlap, and sometimes there is no overlap, in which case the equipment will have to be made either in several sizes, or adjustable. 2 46 Distribution of heights of a user population Applied Ergonomics Handbook f\*—9°°f°—A /' y · i\ !

The designer should first make a careful study of how the instrument will be operated; controls and displays should then be arranged to guide the user. Two principles One of two simple principles can usually be applied to the design of a panel. If the operation always follows a fixed sequence, the controls and displays should be laid out in that order. To take an everyday example, the layout of a car dashboard might well reflect the starting sequence: Choke-ignition switch-starter-ignition and oil warning lights-leading down to gear lever and handbrake.

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