Which One Won? Ergonomic vs. Plain Product Design

An e-commerce seller ran a test on PickFu between two potential seat cushion designs, with an audience of 50 Amazon Prime subscribers. Both designs were black, but one design (Option A) had a plain rectangular shape with rounded corners and a fine mesh covering, while the other (Option B) was more rounded and ergonomic in shape, with indentations for the buttocks, a smooth velour-like covering, and a bright blue infinity-symbol logo. Which seat cushion do you think our test audience preferred? Take a guess, and then read the poll results here.

Ergonomics Take the Lead

In a fairly close decision, the ergonomic design (Option B) won the poll, with 58% of respondents preferring it. Interestingly, voters on both sides of the divide panel consistently cited comfort as the primary driver in their choice – they disagreed about which cushion actually looked more comfortable. 42% of those voting for Option A and 38% of those voting for Option B specifically volunteered a concern for comfort in their vote commentary, and many others implied it.

Panelists who preferred Option B also listed a number of other contributing factors for their choice, including its appearance, a feeling that its design was superior, and the material for the cover. However, fully a third (34%) of those voting for the ergonomic design mentioned that it looked as though it would fit their body better than the plain design, with comments such as “I feel it’s more conformed to my actual body shape” and “Option B looks like it would fit the shape of my butt.” Interestingly, six out of 29 voters for Option B actually used the word ergonomic in their comments. It is clear from this analysis that comfort and fit were overwhelming concerns for those voting for option B.

Plain Cushion Supporters Highly Critical of Other Design

There was one notable difference between the respondent groups: no Option B voters expressed any concerns over Option A being problematic, saying only that Option B seemed superior for one reason or another. At the same time, fully 43% of plain-cushion voters cited specific concerns with Option B. Plain-cushion voters said that option B looked “weird” or “embarrassing,” expressed fears that the “bumps” of Option B would prove uncomfortable to sit on, or worried that the ergonomic shape of Option B seemed like a design defect. There was also considerable support for the idea that the simpler and more solid design of option A would make it usable by a wider variety of people regardless of body shape, with comments such as “sometimes, the formed pillows do not sit properly with people,” “would be compatible with most seats and posteriors,” and “it looks made for multiple body types.”

The Gender Gap

As is often the case, among our demographic variables, gender proved most important in terms of differences in voting pattern. 56% of men preferred the plain Option A cushion, while 65% of females voted in favor of the ergonomic Option B design.

Do you have products, logos, designs, or other marketing factors that you’d like to get inexpensive and accurate reactions to? Polls like this one can be hosted at PickFu for as little as $50. Find out more here!


Robert Hayes

Robert Hayes is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Colorado.