HomeProduct DesignErgonomicsIkea Parody: the Ergonomics Lesson

Ikea Parody: the Ergonomics Lesson

An ergonomics lesson usually provided by an Ikea video, promoting their paper catalog (the “bookbook™”) is fantastic from many points of view. It became viral because of making fun of Apple product introduction. It could also be a self-mockery about some Swedish clichés (the smiling blond guy), but there are strong ergonomics backgrounds and product design truths in that video also. And that’s our topic. And then to the original Steve Jobs new product introduction!

The Marketing Parody

“Once in a while…”, “Introducing the”, “amazing”, nice music while a slow-motion of the product …. that remembers you something, right?

(see the link at the bottom for the answer)

The Centuries-old Book Ergonomics Lesson

or, seen in an innovative way, the electronic accessories have still some innovation possible:

 bookspossibly new technology/improvement over books
  • no cable
not many electronics have no radio communication anymore (IoT Internet of Things)

no cable, no battery
    • no battery / no rechargeno cable eternal battery


the biggest electronic drawback; any phone or tablet currently lasts between hours and at best days of usage

Induction charging is developing, thus a relatively low-efficiency ratio; but still requires a docking base or equivalent

To improve this or decrease the need for recharging

  • display type: eInk, drawing current only when changing white/black state is huge progress, but loses the benefit of “instantaneous” change, or at least when changed frequently as in a video; color is not there yet also
  • drawing less current as possible: all chip manufacturers now have so-called green chips, with both the smallest um wires as possible to draw less current, but also a standby/wake-up mode to almost stop current between active tasks
  • screen: can be small, but big also

currently nothing really with variable screen size on the market yet

some progress on foldable/rollable screens in R&D pipes

Other ideas?

  • physical contact, sharing info
  • share easily

the physical contact so has the paper smell is indeed not there; would that really be a user function?

the sharing easily aspect, well, mail, short message, online library, social network (…) have probably 

  • browse fast in both directions + quick browsing

no device has indeed a book-flip-pages speed yet so as a book

The need is not really to obtain an animated character like in early flipbooks but to find information fast, visually, by color, or by aspect. A search feature using words does not help you much when you don’t know keywords for it yet or just looking for nice ideas

innovation is probably still to find here !?

  • bookmarksbookmarks
electronic bookmarks exist in all shapes and flavors … none is visible when the app /tablet/phone has not even started …

  • very good image quality (resolution)

to be fair, not really a book-only advantage anymore; mid to high-end devices have now a resolution that is under the human eye perception.

… providing that the app provides pictures in a sufficient resolution (saving memory app can destroy the tech advantage)

Not mentioned in the video:

  • price point: book=low; tablet, although the app can be free, the device required to view is several $100s, although some viewers-only are cheaper.

The Ergonomics Lesson Video, See By Yourself

YouTube player

To be compared with Steve Jobs’s iconic iPhone product introduction in 2007 (“once in a while” … you’ve heard that before?) that was clearly a milestone in product introduction methodology, but also showing a typical modern Product Development cycle; see this iconic product introduction here.

Last Ergonomics Words

All these being said, and while we are big fans (in the product design sense) of the assembly instructions delivered with their products,

this catalog is difficult to use to find a product in particular.

It does put the products in their context in a nice way (a kid’s room, a kitchen …), but trying to quickly find all tables for example is impossible … you have them all around the catalog, mixed with other furniture.

Exact matches only
include Online Tools
include Events


Share suggestions, corrections,  examples, experience or ideas that may be integrated in this article

In English, if Monday is the first day of the week, by which letter starts the third day? (correct answer is needed to be able to submit)


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