Creating Standards and Strategies
by David Dick
Reprinted from Usability Interface, Vol 5, No. 3, January, 1999
ISO 13407 - "Human-Centered Design Processes for Interactive Systems" provides guidance on human-centered design activities throughout the life cycle of computer-based interactive systems. The standard can be applied to both hardware and software design, and is an ideal resource for documenting the usability process. The standard describes the four main activities that should take place during system development:
When you have finished documenting the strategy for conducting these activities, you must ensure conformance. To this extent, ISO 13407 also provides the procedures for demonstrating conformance to the standard.
ISO 9241-11 "Guidance on Usability" provides recommendations on identifying the context of use of the product (hardware, software, service), the required measures of usability, and how the usability of a product can be specified and evaluated as part of a quality system. This standard is particularly valuable if you must write a strategy for usability and usability tests.
Creating standards and strategies for usability is an easy task if you have a framework. The challenge is to integrate usability into the product life cycle, and the rest is up to you.
Information about ISO and the catalog of standards is available from the ISO home page at http://www.iso.ch and the American National Standards Institute at http://web.ansi.org