Usability Analysis: Herman Miller Mirra 2 Task Chair
After spending last semester doing coursework in my home office on a hard backed, stationary IKEA chair, I knew I needed to find a better chair to sit in for long periods of work. My previous chair would cause my already tender back and hips to ache after not much time spent sitting.
By serendipity, my husband has a friend who deals in furniture. He happened to come across a trove of task chairs being sold off by a design firm in Toronto just before Christmas. Among these, he had a number of Herman Miller Mirra 2 task chairs.
These chairs retail on the Herman Miller website for $900 CDN, but I was able to get one for a third of this price, used, but in good condition.
I cannot begin to describe the difference this chair has made in my quality of life, and ability to work in general. I no longer feel the aches and pains that I used to from long periods of sitting. I can’t imagine using any other chair from here on out, because the Mirra 2 is so comfortable and practical. Given the choice between this chair and others that my husband’s friend had to sell, I chose the Mirra 2 because the seat is mesh and the back is made of a flexible polymer: this makes this chair a lot more durable than an upholstered, padded task chair. There’s nothing in this chair that can get so irredeemably filthy that you’d end up throwing it out, and it’s very easy to clean.
The Mirra 2 is fully adjustable in all directions, including a front-of-the seat lever that pulls the edge of the seat back to shorten the seat depth. There are two levers connected to the spine of the back that can be shifted up or down, and twisted to push inwards: these provide lumbar support for the spine. As with most chairs, the seat can be raised up or down to accommodate users of varying heights. The arms of the Mirra 2 can be raised up to meet your forearms, or shifted down completely to the level of the seat, allowing them to move out of the way if you’re sitting tucked under a desk. The arm rests can be shifted closer to your body or further away. The whole chair can be adjusted to tilt back and rock, or maintain a stationary pose.
The specific user of this product would be anyone who needs a reliable, well-made task chair for long periods of sitting and working, especially at a computer. The Mirra 2 is designed to be fully adjustable and ergonomically adaptable to your body. The specific goals of this product are to provide a comfortable seating option when working, and one that is fully adjustable. The specific context would be any work environment: home office, or regular office.
The Mirra 2 is effective: it is adjustable and is extremely comfortable for long periods of work. Compared to my previous chair, I am able to focus on my work and not on whether my back or hips are aching. When I get up for a break, no part of my body is in pain.
The Mirra 2 is efficient: once you get the chair adjusted to your body, it performs without any issue.
The Mirra 2 is engaging: it’s a fascinating chair to look at and aesthetically fits in well with my home office decor. It looks a lot like a creature from a David Cronenberg movie, which I like: it doesn’t look like any other kind of office task chair. It’s unique and a work of great design in its own right.
The Mirra 2 is error tolerant: it takes a little bit to get used to adjusting the chair, as it’s a little different from other task chairs I’ve used. But there’s no worry about breaking it, as it’s very durable and well made.
The Mirra 2 is easy to learn: Herman Miller has posted various guides and videos on their website to instruct users how to adjust their Mirra 2. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but the videos and guides posted really help explain how to make the most of the chair and adjust it to your liking.
Overall, there’s no way I could recommend this chair more. I’m a believer that sometimes the saying “you get what you pay for” means that you have to invest a bit more money in certain products that will impact your health and well being. This would definitely be one of those kinds of products. It’s well worth the effort to save the money if you have to, to be able to purchase one at full price if you’re not able to get one second-hand.
Image: Herman Miller