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Alternative approaches to the design of four-burner stoves

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The spatial arrangement of stove hotplates and associated controls and linkages has been of concern to ergonomists. In this study, two different approaches were used to determine preferred arrangements. In the first, one group of participants were given locations of controls and asked to place hotplates; a second group was given hotplate locations and asked to place controls. In each case, linkages were to be indicated. In the second approach, drawings of stove layouts with controls and linkages were given. Scales of preference of control/hotplate layouts were established. Arrangements having high spatial congruence between hotplate and controls were nominated and most preferred by participants in the first approach. In the second approach, it was found possible to discriminate between arrangements that had high spatial congruence and high compatibility between hotplate and control and, hence, to determine ‘best’ designs in terms of participant preferences.

Statement of Relevance: Most research on stove layout has been with hotplates in a square arrangement. Two different approaches to design show the importance of spatial congruence between hotplate and control for obtaining preferred designs having high compatibility, which are superior from an ergonomics viewpoint.
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Keywords: compatibility; control/hotplate arrangements; expectancies; stove layout

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Mechanical Engineering,University of Melbourne, Victoria3010, Australia 2: Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management,City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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