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As commented here, there are 48 question tagged as ergonomics and 659 as usability.

Here on MSO there are zero tagged as ergonomics and 156 as usability.

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What exactly is the question? –  hochl Mar 14 '12 at 13:16

1 Answer 1

Ergonomics is very different from usability. One has to do with physical positioning and what is best for the body and the other has to do with making things more usable. While similar, not the same.


Wikipedia - Ergonomics (emphasis mine):

The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics as follows:

Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

Wikipedia - Usability (emphasis mine):

ISO defines usability as "The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use." The word "usability" also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process. Usability consultant Jakob Nielsen and computer science professor Ben Shneiderman have written (separately) about a framework of system acceptability, where usability is a part of "usefulness" and is composed of:

  • Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?
  • Efficiency: Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?
  • Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they re establish proficiency?
  • Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors?
  • Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the design?
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You are wrong. Some aspects of ergonomics cover that area, but there is a field of study called cognitive ergonomics that's very much related to usability. Also, at SO/MSO, people talk about ergonomics as meaning usability. There's no point in having an ergonomics tag restricted to your meaning. –  GUI Junkie Mar 14 '12 at 13:19
    
@GUIJunkie - I have updated my answer to be a bit more clear on the difference I see between the two terms. That said, if "cognitive ergonomics" is an appropriate tag for questions, please by all means, tag the questions in the most correct way, but do not remove a useful and valid tag that already exists. Lastly, something that is more ergonomic is inherently more usable, but not necessarily is something that is highly usable in any way ergonomic. –  cdeszaq Mar 14 '12 at 13:54
    
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_ergonomics, but I'll just leave this as is and delete the question. –  GUI Junkie Mar 14 '12 at 14:21
    
"...It is a subset of the larger field of human factors and ergonomics." –  cdeszaq Mar 14 '12 at 14:26
    
Right. I've already flagged the question for deletion. –  GUI Junkie Mar 14 '12 at 14:31

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