Identifying user abilities and characteristics
The user in this case example is Maureen, a persona developed during the exercise. For this exercise, we do not need to know the reasons that technology is being sought for Maureen; we need to assess Maureen’s abilities and characteristics, and identify any limitations to her abilities or characteristics, and thus her needs when using a technology product. This will identify the functional performance statements that the technology product being considered will need to align with so that it meets Maureen’s needs.
The limitations that Maureen experiences with respect to her abilities and characteristics are described using Clause 7, CEN-CENELEC Guide 6 / ISO/IEC Guide 71. Maureen experiences the following limitations:
- reduced ability to reach distant objects, or objects on the floor due to limited range of motion of shoulder joint and/or elbow joint (Clause 18.104.22.168)
- reduced ability to manage heavy or bulky objects due to weakness or musculoskeletal temporal injury in the upper body (Clause 22.214.171.124)
The identification of limitations that Maureen experiences with respect to her abilities and characteristics are used to identify her needs with respect to the design features of a suitable technology product:
- product is light (“manufacturing materials of lighter weight or lower density to reduce the weight of products” – Clause 126.96.36.199)
- the product does not rely on movement of upper body (“alternative controls for accommodation of upper body movement impairments – Clause 188.8.131.52); this could be in the form of voice-activation controls