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Group Name Workstation Group
Damon Berry
Joel Michel
Alex Pavoll
Annabelle Cho
Matt Bailey


Table of Contents

hw3.version4.doc Δ

Discussion and Thoughts

See the group Discussion page for more details.

Class One

These are a few thoughts from our brief discussion last class.

  • Investigate different types of workstations.
  • Investigate the idea of "Mobile Workstations".
  • Identify problems with current workstation design.
  • What parts uniquely identify a workstation?

Meeting One

  • Discussed problems with existing workstations.
  • Isolated areas where improvement could be made.
  • Made decision to focus on one aspect to integrate in any workstation.
  • Conceptualized product and investigated competetion.

Meeting Two

  • Went through replacement template and Forecast Matrix.
  • Drew up diagrams and updated blog.
  • Divided presentation assignment and assigned groups.
  • Set meeting time and place for Monday.

Assignment One

Learn - Competitive Product Survey

I've searched extensively for novel and cool workstations that are currently out there, as well as some ergonomics sources. - The see through desktop is a fantastic idea. - Compact, and still room for a flower pot! - I've always wanted to nerd it up in bed. <-- I want this! However, it does go a bit overboard. - A lot of cool innovations on this site. Check out her chair! - Ergonomics model, This one says feet flat on floor. - Another ergonomics model that insists a footrest is necessary. - I like the idea of a self contained workstation that's extremely mobile. - When we first took this project, I envisioned a headset of some kind instead of a monitor. Complete mobility. The multidisplay workstation uses the vertical workspace. a multidisplay workstation (2) a multidisplay workstation (3) This is a workstation for a doctor a music workstation There is a virtual workstation called Virtual Table. Multi-Touch Tablet is an input device besides keyboard or mouse for computer workstation Interaction techniques of computer workstation have been improved. One of them is Multi-Touch Interaction. Here is a workstation peripheral designed to support the human body while interacting with the computer.

Look Still Photo Survey

Space taken up by monitors can be vital for increasing desk surface space.


This picture shows the clutter on the desk of a multidisplay workstation in contrast to the stark wallspace behind it.

Clearly, the vertical plain has not been explored to place monitors more effectively, to increase workspace on the desk. Here is another multidisplay workstation.


Another picture that models the need for clearing the desk and using the wall behind. LCD's are much lighter than their clunky CRT predacessors, they have the ability to be mounted without caving in the wall.


Desks would not have to be made so wide, therefore increasing the general workspace.


Picture of actual UML students workstation. He estimates that he spent 500+ dollars building a structure to house all his equipment. Here is a messy workstation

Ask Extreme User Interviews

I interviewed an extreme (high-end) user, let's call him "bob".

This is a photo of his workstation space:

Likes about his current workstation space:

  • Multiple monitors increases his screen real-estate (in the horizontal space).
  • He uses the space above his desk for posting charts/graphs.


  • Lighting is poor in general
  • Needs more lighting for that which he posts on the wall above his monitors (aka the vertical space).
  • Having to put his desktop machine literally on his desk.
  • Hard to get access to the USB ports on his desktop machine.
  • Mutliple competing devices for few USB ports supported by his desktop machine.
  • The border/gap between monitors that disrupts what could be a seamless/continuous screen space.

Thoughts about the ideal workstation space:

  • A more seamless transition between his screens and his desktop.
    • Such as projected images or a really big monitor screen in the vertical space, as opposed to taping up printed posters.
  • Sitting is not ergonomic.
    • Could have better tilt and swivel provided by his chair.

He was then presented with our "radical design" for a new type of workspace. All in all, he thought our product could address many of his needs that were not being met by his current workstation. He was very enthusiastic about:

  • Being able to use the vertical space more efficiently.
  • Being able to have digital images (via screens, or a single big screen) in the vertical space, as opposed to taping printed posters/charts/graphs.
  • Being able to reposition his multiple monitors in real-time to fit the needs of the moment.
  • The possibility of being able to zoom in on something in his field of view by having a repositionable frennel lense or some other type of magnifier.

Try - Bodystorming

Once we isolated our area of focus we all took turns envisioning how we would interact with this configuration and what problems or benefits may arise. Our first implementation was an expandable pole that resembled many existing products. We quickly realized that the realestate of the mounting system would become more clutter on the desk. Also, most users are not comfortable drilling holes into their desk.

Body storming also gave inspiration to going beyond monitors to having arms that can do a variety of tasks. Having some to hold notes and others to support peripheral devices.

Results and Analysis

Our Mission

We decided that rather than focus on the workstation at large we would identify certain aspects we liked/disliked and how to solve a few of them by creating something that can be introduced into virtually any existing enviroment. The list we produced had several interesting problems (see list below) many of which we felt could be solved by introduction of a simple device.

The Problems

We identified that many users experience back pain and prefer to stand occasionally throughout the day. Hunching over the desk doesn't alleviate the pain and monitors aren't easy to raise. In addition we identified that workstations often become cluttered with peripherals and papers. This is really a problem of not having enough horizontal space. Also, many of us are extreme users who have mulitple configurations (monitors, peripherals, cases) at one workstation. Keeping order of these things without sprawling out over an entire room is difficult.

The Solution

One existing solution is the monitor tree. It can hold multiple monitors in some static configuration to keep them off the desk and make better use of the space. The problem is that these traditional designs are not expandable, not always universal and are mounted to the desk. If it's mounted to the desk then it's still taking up realestate and now you've put screw holes in your brand new desk.

The solution is a wall mounting system that allows for any number of configurations. The racks can be mounted horizontally or vertically depending on preference. They can extend to the ceiling which makes use of the vertical space in a room or office. The arms then lock into rack and can slide up and down or left and right depending on the mounting of the rack. The monitors are held with a rubber clamping system so that all flat panel monitors are supported and can be quick release. There are also various arms that can hold printers, cases or notes. Your computer cases can be attached and raised to the ceiling (depending on your rack system, heavier duty ones would enable this).

For cublicles they can hang on the wall of the cube instead of being installed with screws. The monitors can be raised and your desk is free of any devices, including the pole in other designs. We feel that our product surpasses existing products by being expandable, non-invasive and highly customizable.

Assignment Two

The Forecasting Matrix

a 1 in parenthesis indicates we chose to add a dependancy for the attribute dependancy template

 WeightColorMaterialWall MountMonitor attachmentWeight Limit
Wall Mount100x01
Monitor Attatchment1001x1
Weight Limit00 (1)111x
Age of user010001
Type of Wall10 (1)0101
Required Tools001100
Type of Monitor000 (1)011

Attribute Dependancy Template

We chose to examine the zero at the color/weight limit junction. We can create a dependency by color coding the various models depending on their supported weight limit. For instance, the heavier duty might be green while the less strong are blue.

This can also be extended or used in the type of wall the unit is meant for (cubucle office, wall board...).

The material and type of monitor relation can also be modified. For instance we can support specific third party monitors with the same asthetic as their products (think Mac!).

Replacement Template

The graph above is our starting graph, indicating controlling relationships between components.

The graph below indicates the result of our applying the replacement template. We removed the screws components, which then meant removing the wall studs component. In its place we added in suction cups to attach the tracks to the wall. Suction cups do not depend on on the wall studs, which previously the screws did. Thus, we were able to remove the wall studs completely from our list of components.

Venture Capital Presentation

  • Allows for more free space in the workplace
    • Clears up desk space
    • Allows for modular computer monitor array
    • Utilizes vertical space which is not often explored
  • Buy in bulk and save!
    • In the fast paced work environment, growth should be easy and not limited by direction or deskspace
  • Looks cool!
    • Modern design caters to forward thinkers and futurists
    • Hides cables efficiently internally

Environmental Presentation

  • Our product suite is modular and re-usable.
    • can be taken down and re-used if worker changes offices
  • We will use primarily recycled materials
  • We will use materials having low environmental impact
    • aluminum
    • steel
    • rubber
  • Real costs of materials includes:
    • manufacturing costs
    • disposal costs
    • the price people are willing to pay to reduce the health impact of individual pollutants
  • The real costs of our materials (as estimated by the Tellus Institute) are:
    • recycled aluminum:
      • 342 $/ton
    • recycled steel:
      • 358 $/ton
    • rubber:
      • unknown
  • These are low impact compared to the real costs of other potential materials:
    • virgin aluminum:
      • 1963 $/ton
    • virgin steel:
      • 366 $/ton
    • polyvinyl choloride (PVC):
      • 5288 $/ton

Assignment Three


Prototype made in Sketch Up by Matt Bailey.

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Page last modified on October 18, 2006, at 09:38 PM