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Is it an ergonomic assessment or an ergonomics assessment?

February 3, 2017

You are right if you guessed ergonomics assessment but we have noticed many people, including ergonomics professionals, using the terms almost interchangeably. We also commonly see ergonomic placed incorrectly in front of words like consultant, report, guideline, standard, etc. In most cases, all of the above should be preceded by ergonomics NOT ergonomic.

The words ergonomic and ergonomics look similar so it is easy to mix them up. Here’s a trick I use to help me make the right choice. I find it helpful to think of another word pair that is similar in meaning to ergonomic and ergonomics but rarely mixed up (e.g. usable and usability).

If usability makes more sense in what you are trying to say, ergonomics is the word you need.

So back to our initial example using this word pair.....Is it a usable assessment or a usability assessment? Though we would like everything to be usable (and ergonomic), what we are most likely talking about is a usability assessment.

Similarly, most of the time we are referring to a:

If you are a professional reading this, please check your websites and documents for the proper use of these terms. If we don’t use them correctly, we can’t expect our clients to.