Applied Ergonomic Methods | Spring 2019
Housekeepers in the hospitality industry have experienced a growth in workplace related injuries due to ergonomic stress. The tasks they perform contribute to musculoskeletal disorders, neck and back pain, and strain. Our team was tasked with creating a product that would help reduce stress for housekeepers and provide ergonomic feedback that would inform the user about proper behavior.
Partners: Jeremy Faulk and Tosin Yeku
heavily involved with the ideation, prototyping, and fabrication processes, as well as user research
created the branding and graphic designs for the product
performed experiments with a low and high-fidelity prototype
conducted and helped develop a usability test (think aloud) and survey
created a poster and helped write a paper that will be submitted to the ACM CHI conference
eLLift, the ergonomic little lifter, introduces a two-handed solution to lifting mattresses. Lifting the mattress is the most strenuous task for a housekeeper, causing strain and damage due to repetitive motions. Compared to the market's current solution of a one-handed wedge, eLLift offers two-handed insertion and scooped edge for ergonomic ease, usability feedback in the form of lights, and a mechanical lever to lift the mattress higher.
Creating eLLift with my team members was very enjoyable - there was a healthy dynamic and every one had a role that prioritized their strengths and abilities. For product reflections, with our testing phase we realized how our product may be over complicated with the extra action of turning the lever. With future iterations, we aim to explore designs that better incorporate the function of the lever or remove it completely. A flaw for this project was our team's weaker usability test. We had originally created a test involving housekeepers at an upscale hotel and sent it for IRB approval to conduct the experiment. However, the approval did not meet our project deadline so we performed an in-depth convenience study instead. While it offered valuable insight, it would've been better for housekeepers to interact with the product.