Even when products and systems are highly localized, rarely is there one design suitable for a single, mono-cultural population of users. The products and systems created and used are cultural artifacts representing shared cognitions that characterize mental models that result from interactions with physical environments. Thus, culture is embedded and impacts the extent to which products are usable, accessible, useful, and safe. Products and systems that deviate from users’ mental models may have negative consequences for users, ranging from minor annoyance to more serious consequences such as severe injury or death.
Both an introduction and a primer, Cultural Ergonomics: Theory, Methods, and Applicationsdemonstrates how cultural ergonomics can be applied in research and practitioner contexts. It covers selection of theories, descriptions of research designs, methods to analyze the results, case studies, and strategies used to draw inferences and conclusions in a vast array of areas including occupational safety, global issues, emergency management, human-computer interaction, warnings and risk communications, and product design.
Human factors/ergonomics, as a discipline, is slowly integrating cultural ergonomics into efforts to explore human capabilities and limitations in the context of design and evaluation. Edited by experts and containing contributions from pioneers in this area, this book provides examples and methodologies within a human factors framework. It provides systematic methods to apply what is learned from analysis of culture to the design, development, and evaluation of products and systems.