Please refer to the guidelines for preparing and submitting a proposal, which can be found here.
OERC 2014 Research Priorities
NOTE: The research priorities are presented in alphabetical order. Position on the list does not indicate importance, and all topics should be considered as of equal interest to OERC.
Keywords in bold italic are of special interest
Group Work Environments and Technologies
Group work environments (café, lounge, meeting space, etc.) can be throughout the floor plan, enclosed or open, supporting formal meetings or informal, unplanned interactions but they are outside the traditional individual “work station.
· What are the ergonomic and productivity implications of collaborative work environments (such as bench environments and team room collaborations) where one element of the workspace is shared (such as technology and/or furniture)?
· How can the ergonomics of the work environment affect collaboration with remote users and/or geographically disparate teams, including the impact of technologies such as video conferencing and digital content sharing/co-creation?
· How can the ergonomics of workstation design support in-person collaborative activities (as distinct from physically disparate activities)?
· What are the productivity and comfort effects of acoustic and other environmental properties of collaborative workspaces?
Individual Work Environmentsand Technologies
· How will the introduction of new hardware and software technologies influence the design of the physical work environment?
• How does new technology affect work culture?
• The outcomes we care about include worker well-being, engagement, interaction with others, performance, productivity, safety, comfort…be they:
• Working within the office, in assigned or unassigned spaces;
• Working outside the office and participating via technology;
• Practicing various work styles/ patterns (e.g. sit-stand);
• A member of any of the many generations in the workforce today
· What are the productivity, preference, biomechanical, perceived comfort, and usability effects of direct, indirect and near-field gesture interactions?
· What are the productivity, preference, biomechanical, perceived comfort, and usability effects of multimodal interactions (e.g., gesture, voice, gaze, traditional pointing, etc.)?
· We would like to support the development and validation of standardized tools for the objective cross-platform assessment of direct, indirect, and near-field gesture interactions.
· For usage modeling in the context of devices or work scenarios (e.g., laptop with touchscreen and gesture-enabled trackpad, dual mousing) that allow for or require the use of multiple input technologies; what is the effect on productivity, preference, biomechanics, perceived comfort, and usability?
New Mobile Hardware Platforms & Accessories
· What are the usage patterns, productivity, biomechanics, perceived comfort, preference and usability effects associated with the use of new computing form factors (e.g., wearables (especially head mounted displays), slates/tablets, notebooks, hybrids, All-in-Ones, smartphones, etc.) and how do these form factors integrate into the worker’s ecosystem? How are these effects different from those of traditional computing platforms?
· How can new wearable technologies (e.g. Fitbit, Lumoback, and the like) be used to measure and inform worker activity and postures? We are interested in both data collection from a research standpoint, as well as providing feedback to users as a behavioral intervention.
· How do work tasks and multiple computing platforms integrate to provide optimal worker productivity and ergonomics (i.e., which computing tool for which task)?
· What are the injury and symptom rates associated with mobile device use and are they distinct from those associated with fixed or desktop devices?
· What advice/design changes/accessories can be used to reduce risk associated with the use of new computing platforms?
· What are the effects of accessories (e.g., stands, cases, docking stations, low travel and/or compact keyboards) designed for mobile computing platforms on worker productivity, biomechanics, preference, comfort, and usability and how should they fit within the work environment?
· What are the subjective and objective biomechanical, visual comfort, performance and productivity effects of high pixel density, display size, and the simultaneous use of multiple displays?
Risk Management And Prevention
· How should the effectiveness\productivity of program interventions be measured?
· How can risk assessment strategies be compared?
· What are the macro ergonomic considerations (e.g., what kinds of interventions are most easily adoptable/deployable)?
· How do wellness, psychosocial factors, individual factors, workstyle and safety culture affect injury prevention?
· Are there generational and experience considerations with regard to risk management and prevention?
· What are the risk outcomes of sedentary work environments/workstyles?
· What is the impact of early life exposure to computer use and its impact on the dose-response relationship later in life? NOTE: Computer is used here in a general sense.
Software User Interface Design
· What are the design elements, including customization features, which optimize user performance and ergonomics?
· What are the necessary tools to assess the ergonomic impact of software UI?
· What are the UI design requirements necessary for optimizing software for productivity and ergonomics with direct and indirect touch interaction?
Training / Intervention
· In the workplace, what is the impact of instruction/training, practice and other techniques on compliance and behavioral change?
· Which techniques help users to maintain long term behavioral changes?
· How can technology be used to influence cultural/behavioral goals (e.g., break software, ongoing reminders, monitoring, web-based training)?