the element of the interaction with the space as an entity and a construct



the way the purposeful social as an entity interacts with its participants is intriguing. the balance between the benefits of the 'institution' versus the constraints that it may bring is delicate. 

the ergonomics of a purposeful social space relate to that balance. 

what constitutes the element of ergonomics is a study in how people deal with  the 'institution'. the functions of the 'systems', the rules and procedures, the physical space where the people reside when being part of the social space, the ease and force of administration.

every purposeful social space will have some kind of ergonomics. we always have somehow deal with the 'institution', but we also can have the creativity to design and develop a set of ergonomic 'tools' that are in line with what the institution want to be and achieve.


the rules

handling and experiencing the rules of the institutional aspect of the purposeful social space.

the rules that inhibit and the rules that enable




the rhythms of the social space that affect  the people in it.

seasons  |  deadlines  |  the six o'clock news  |  annual shareholders meetings  |  budget cycles   |   curricula  |  weekly sports training  |  appointment slots  |  time tables  |         

the cadens create ease, rhythms are part of the ergonomics


size matters

both in physical and mental dimensions. for institutional site of the purposeful social space to be effective participants should be able to physically handle the objects that are associated with. an institute that not matches with the attention span and mental strength and attributes of the audience loses its credibility.




the attention span

ergonomics have to do with the attention span of the audience. any design should take this into account and think about what is required. these requirements might largely vary among different spaces and even among the players within any space.


the material space as part of the ergonomics

the actual space that is used by a purposeful social space is characterized by a combination of openness and seclusion as opposed to an oppressive space


the pressure of the pixel grid

the representation of the institute is increasingly locked in a grid of pixels: the screen of our information device.

technology has brought  lots of opportunities to extend the purposeful social space away from physical boundaries. and the screens and the increasing number of added sensors and auxiliaries can create impressive experiences. 

and at the same time the sensors and the pictures are very primitive compared to the richness of our ways of communication and interaction.

that brings challenges to the ergonomics of the space as an institute. the tendency of an institute to simplify (added by the pixel grid) and the need to embrace the plentifulness of human interaction need a sound equilibrium. the techno optimism is in this respect more of a hinderance than a inspirator.   


customers and the ergonomics of the purposeful social space


where firms interact with their customers, the ergonomics of the institute become very visible. products, terms and conditions, service levels, opening hours, warranty clauses are among the means through which the customer is confronted with the institute he or she does business with. the means of interaction are often developed with the objective of protecting interests (both at the side of the buyer and the seller) and smoothing (or standardising) the interaction and the transaction. the result is a clear line or even boundary between two parties that in essence share a desire: a mutually valuable solution.

in firms much of the management attention and focus on the customer is rooted in the perceived difficulty of solving the paradox of the common and separated roles that people and parties have.  

in the purposeful social space the common is leading. the different roles are logical results of the specific contribution and responsibility to the common. and therefor there may be all kinds of institutionalised instruments to facilitate and guarantee smooth interactions and when applicable transactions. they may even resemble common instruments in the relationship between buyer and seller, but their perspective is different.

in all relationships in the social space, not just that of the buyer and the seller, there may be forms of institutions and various ergonomics. but everywhere the starting point is the common purpose that people engage with out of free will


the touchpoints

the ergonomics of the purposeful social space is experienced in the touch points of the institute, the formal and structured side of the purposeful social space. a picture of the large set of such touch points helps to understand and design the appropriate ergonomics. good ergonomics, being functional, user friendly and in line with the spirit of the purposeful social space support the succes of that space and rely on the right choice of touchpoints, their form and workings.


the light touch


the heavy touch


the myriad touch