chapter  12
14 Pages

Assembly Complexity and the Design of Self-Assembly Products

Object assembly tasks are common in everyday life, from children’s construction kits to adults assembling consumer products such as “’at-pack” furniture. Self-assembly consumer products have become increasingly common as they offer good value by reducing transport and labor costs (Madan, Bramorski, and Sundarraj 1995). However, there is evidence suggesting that self-assembly products can be dif™cult to assemble, leading to frustration, damage to the product, and injury (Richardson 2007). These issues and the prevalence of object assembly tasks in everyday life led Richardson et al. (2006) to study the factors that cause complexity during assembly. The methods used and factors identi™ed have a theoretical basis in cognitive psychology and provide a tool to evaluate self-assembly product complexity and guidelines to control complexity.