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What is Pokayoke?

 , August 10, 2016 updated on January 13, 2017
Pokayoke is a Japanese design term that can be translated mistake proofing. Japanese business culture has a minor obsession with preventing human error through design. Pokayoke applies to both the design of production techniques and end products for consumers.
Overview: Pokayoke
TypeDesign Principle
Human Error
DefinitionThe Japanese design culture of foolproofing processes, vehicles, machines, products and services.
ExamplesPlugs that won't fit in the wrong way.
Automatic breaking systems in cars.
Microwave doors typically can't be open when the microwave is operating.
Products that can only be assembled correctly.
Doors that can't be open when a vehicle is moving.
ValueIncreases quality
Improves safety
May reduce support costs
DrawbacksPlaces restrictions that users may view as annoying. For example, a car that turns off heated seats when the air temperature rises beyond a certain point.
Related ConceptsHuman Error vs Design Error


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