Workshops, ergonomics, and big machines

If you compare designing and building websites and information systems to working in a wood workshop, using large frameworks are like having huge machines that do many things (and take up a lot of floor and head space with their mountains of noise).

These huge machines are sometimes great, they may save time when building things that require many of the features they provide.

But for smaller projects, using the big machine might create a less than desirable results.

It might also make working on the project less enjoyable than it could be. Not only is it important to make maintenance enjoyable, but also to make making enjoyable.

You might be sacrificing the dexterity and lightness of carefully chosen, and sometimes hand made tools and jigs for the uniformity and relative predictability of the big machine.

If you use the machine for too long, you might end up forgetting how to use the simple, nimble tools – the tools that were also used to build the big machine.

I think it is important to be aware, and familiar with the big machines, but really also be familiar with their limitations.

For some workshops, the overhead and noise of the big machine is just not worth it.

The big machine may save time, but so will a carefully planned and laid out workshop with simple tools be.

Simple tools might also be machines. The main difference perhaps, is that they are usually designed for specific, sometimes singular tasks.

Highly specialised usually means light and ergonomic.

Deciding how to best chain together these tools, jigs and processes is a healthy exercise for any workshop starting a new project.

The alternative is to just send the raw material in one end and expect something out the other. And you might loose sight of what you were making, or go deaf in the process.


Hot off the press 2021-11-08 20:42