Magazine article USA TODAY

"Psychonomics" Is the New Buzzword

Magazine article USA TODAY

"Psychonomics" Is the New Buzzword

Article excerpt

Just as ergonomics was a catchword of the 1980s in product design, psychonomics -- how a consumer mentally interacts with a product -- has become a "mantra" for the 1990s. This is the consensus of those who participated in a forum held by the Industrial Designers Society of America on emerging trends in the consumer products industry.

"In addition to ergonomics, design has moved into the consumer's mindset," indicates Mark Dziersk, vice president of design at the consulting firm of Herbst LaZar Bell, Inc., Chicago. "People don't want to be computer programmers at home -- no more flashing 12 o'-clocks on the VCR. They want straightforward products that are simple to operate and can do many things. Web TV products, for example, will bring the Internet into the living room. Designers need to incorporate some of these consumer-driven elements, such as volume knobs and controls similar to those found on a stereo."

According to Bob Bruno, director of product design at Group Four Design, Avon, Conn., "In general, products will become more intuitive and more in synch with how individuals think. …

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